Gretchen Walsh Goes 54.38, Fastest 15-Year-Old 100 FR In U.S. History

2018 U.S. NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

15-year-old Gretchen Walsh continues to impress, putting up the fastest time ever by an American 15-year-old in the 100 meter free.

Walsh qualified 6th in prelims of Nationals this morning, going 54.38. That time stands up as the third-fastest ever in the 15-16 age group among Americans and is faster than any other American has been at age 15.

There’s a slight caveat on that: Missy Franklin was actually faster at age 14 (54.03), but only went 54.93 at age 15. Walsh now only trails Franklin and Olympic champ Simone Manuel in the all-time 15-16 ranks, per USA Swimming. That’s not bad company to keep.

Top 15-16s All-Time, 100 Free

  1. Missy Franklin, 53.63
  2. Simone Manuel, 53.86
  3. Gretchen Walsh, 54.38
  4. Amy Bilquist, 54.85
  5. Lia Neal, 54.90

With an A final spot tonight, Walsh should be all-but-guaranteed a spot at Junior Pan Pacs, though she could actually make senior Pan Pacs if she can move into the top 3 or 4. Currently a rising high school sophomore, Walsh could also be in the mix for a World Championships or Pan American Games spot tonight.

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Matt
3 years ago

Is this in meters or yards?

Joel
Reply to  Matt
3 years ago

Metres

GLEE
3 years ago

15yrs 100m 53.30 Cate Campbell Indooroopilly QLD Santa Clara 16.05.08
just saying , all time…….

bob
3 years ago

Does anyone know how they train? Aerobic? Mix? USRPT (hope not) Obviously she is talented… but just wondering the x’s and o’s of her training cycle if anyone has an idea.

ThomasLurzFan
3 years ago

She looks very tall from the pictures. Does anyone know her current height? Maybe a bit like Franklin and Oleksiak who are also very tall and broke through very young.

Socaladvracer
3 years ago

Claire Tuggle’s 56.20 ranks her #7 All Time in 13-14, ahead of Manuel.

Yozhik
Reply to  Socaladvracer
3 years ago

That is 0.54 sec improvement of her personal best. She may challenge the 1:58 barrier in 200 tomorrow.
Walsh pushed Ledecky out of final today and Tuggle will do the same thing with Franklin. That’s what I would like to see from the new blood of American swimming.

samuel huntington
Reply to  Yozhik
3 years ago

Well Ledecky is 21 and Franklin is 23, they are still fairly young – why do you like to see them pushed out by “new blood”?

Yozhik
Reply to  samuel huntington
3 years ago

Good question. Just like it.
But if to put it seriously: is Ledecky able to swim under 54.4? With high probability the answer is “yes”. That may require from her to be better prepared for this race. She hasn’t done it I think, postponing her best form of the season for PP. Why did she swim this race then? Probably, hoping that her current form would be enough. Well, in such situation I would like leaders to be pushed to keep them awake that the challenge can come from any side. Is it a big deal of not swimming 400 relay at PP fo Ledecky? I don’t think so. Even better to have one trouble less. Is it an… Read more »

Baker-King-Worrell-Manuel
Reply to  Yozhik
3 years ago

Gibberish

Baker-King-Worrell-Manuel
Reply to  samuel huntington
3 years ago

Yozhik is a Putin troll whose mission is to discredit USA Swimming.

Yozhik
Reply to  Baker-King-Worrell-Manuel
3 years ago

You are simply jealous of how much I’m making by doing this dirty and disgusting job. But don’t worry. With such protectors and caretakers like you USA Swimming will survive.

Yozhik
Reply to  samuel huntington
3 years ago

HUNTINGTON: FYI. SWIMMERS’ AGE.
Today 99 girls were scheduled to swim 100 free prelim races at National Championships. One I believe hasn’t shown up. Of that 98 swimmers 8 was of age 23 and older.

SwimGeek
Reply to  Yozhik
3 years ago

Ledecky is not getting “pushed out” of anything. She’s unrested and swimming her 6th best event . . .

Baker-King-Worrell-Manuel
Reply to  SwimGeek
3 years ago

Yozhik does not acknowledge Ledecky’s recent world record in the women’s 1500 m freestyle.

Random Guniea Pig
Reply to  Yozhik
3 years ago

Why are you hoping Missy gets pushed back to the B-final. I love Tuggle I really hope she makes the final and an international team of some sort, but just because you want the “new blood” to succeed doesn’t mean you should wish bad things on people like Missy. Obviously someone is going to get pushed out by Tuggle if she makes it, but why do you want it to be Missy?

Yozhik
Reply to  Random Guniea Pig
3 years ago

Didn’t mean to offend you. We all have somebody who we worship and somebody who we dislike. It could be some reason for that, or could be no reason at all. Missy Franklin isn’t my favorite swimmer since she became pro. And, please, don’t start the discussion why I’m terribly wrong with that. But there are plenty of people who want to hear or to read nice things about her and, swimswam provides plenty of such opportunities. If there are a few people who doesn’t share your admiration, please, don’t overreact with their postings. Read what pleases you.

samuel huntington
Reply to  Yozhik
3 years ago

good grief, this is becoming too much

Admin
Reply to  samuel huntington
3 years ago

Last warning, before everyone gets put on the moderation list. I know you don’t want that.

Baker-King-Worrell-Manuel
Reply to  samuel huntington
3 years ago

….. lather, rinse, repeat.

SwimCoach
3 years ago

Any hints on avoiding the automated filter? I seem to hit it every time.

ERVINFORTHEWIN
3 years ago

What a Talent she is !!!! Usa has no worries for its sprint future …..

Yozhik
Reply to  ERVINFORTHEWIN
3 years ago

To make predictions for the 15 years old is the last thing I would do. Look at the list of best swimmers shown in this article. Only Simone Manuel has progressed to the world class level. Franklin has improved by less than 0.3sec. And Neal with Bilquist are not a factor in major competitions.

Klorn8d
Reply to  Yozhik
3 years ago

Lia Neal is a two time Olympian? How is that not a major factor?

Yozhik
Reply to  Klorn8d
3 years ago

I’m talking about personal bests. Sorry, if it wasn’t clear. I don’t tell that such and such girl from this list is a bad swimmer. I’m telling that expectations of possible progress can be over optimistic if they are based on the exceptional results shown at the age of 15.

Baker-King-Worrell-Manuel
Reply to  Yozhik
3 years ago

You have zero credibility when it comes to personal bests.

Yozhik
Reply to  Baker-King-Worrell-Manuel
3 years ago

You are getting repeating yourself. Something like Chinese spy pretending to be Putin’s secret agent would be more impressive and entertaining.

USA
Reply to  Yozhik
3 years ago

Lia Neal’s personal best now is almost 1.5 seconds faster than that. You cannot tell me that isn’t progression.

Yozhik
Reply to  USA
3 years ago

You are losing the point of discussion. My original comment (forget about teasing of BAKER-KING-WORRELL-MANUEL) was a response to ERVINFORTHEWIN who wrote ” Usa has no worries for its sprint future …”. If Walsh improves by 1 sec swimming at the top of her career 53.3 will you agree with ERVINFORTHEWIN’s statement? She has to improve by almost two seconds to fulfill this hope. What makes you sure she will? Just because she is 15 now?

Becky D
Reply to  Yozhik
3 years ago

Well, aren’t you a little ray of sunshine, YOZHIK.

Yozhik
Reply to  Becky D
3 years ago

I wish 😀

Baker-King-Worrell-Manuel
Reply to  Becky D
3 years ago

The correct term is troll.

Yozhik
Reply to  Baker-King-Worrell-Manuel
3 years ago

Dear BECKY D, whenever you have personal questions about me ask them direcktly BAKER-KING-WORRELL-MANUEL. She knows everything about me. I guarantee you will be more than satisfied. You have so much in common. Good luck.

Baker-King-Worrell-Manuel
Reply to  Yozhik
3 years ago

I responded to Becky D. Stay out of my conversations.

Admin
Reply to  Baker-King-Worrell-Manuel
3 years ago

Hey guys, calm down. Fast swimming today, let’s all be happy.

Yozhik
Reply to  Braden Keith
3 years ago

Thank you.

Pvdh
Reply to  Yozhik
3 years ago

All you ever do is talk about junior female freestylers…and now he can’t make a prediction?

Yozhik
Reply to  Pvdh
3 years ago

Everybody can make a prediction. It’s not a big deal. The question is how accurate it is.
If the picture of Gretchen Walsh in this article is the most recent one, then I can predict that she will definitely gain some weight. Will it help her in swimming or vice versa I can’t predict. Sorry for disappointing you.

Pvdh
Reply to  Yozhik
3 years ago

I’m not talking about the accuracy of predictions. I’m talking about the hypocrisy of you pretty much solely talking about junior female freestylers and then saying “to make predictions of the 15 year olds is the last thing I’d do” to others.

Baker-King-Worrell-Manuel
Reply to  Pvdh
3 years ago

This is the same individual who was gleefully predicting the demise of one Katie Ledecky!

Yozhik
Reply to  Pvdh
3 years ago

I never make long term prediction especially when intense physical development is in process. Short term extrapolation is a pretty much accurate approach.

swimcoach
Reply to  Yozhik
3 years ago

fairly certain thats the trials pool – so when she was 13.

Baker-King-Worrell-Manuel
Reply to  Yozhik
3 years ago

You have already voted down on this comment.

Baker-King-Worrell-Manuel
Reply to  ERVINFORTHEWIN
3 years ago

Walsh, Gretchen – freestyle (check)
Smith, Regan – backstroke (check)

Hswimmer
3 years ago

53 tonight Gretchen come on you got this!!

Baker-King-Worrell-Manuel
Reply to  Hswimmer
3 years ago

Top four would be awesome!

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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