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.

In This Story

48
Leave a Reply

9 Comment threads
39 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
22 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
nuotofan

Great. Two months ago i wrote an apparently hyperbolic assertion on an Italian forum (Gretchen Walsh is a sort of “female Popov” as stroke efficiency, and she will do fantastic things come Tokyo2020).
Now that assertion looks a bit less hyperbolic

Mr G

Isn’t Nikol the female Popov?

Hswimmer

53 tonight Gretchen come on you got this!!

Baker-King-Worrell-Manuel

Top four would be awesome!

ERVINFORTHEWIN

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

Baker-King-Worrell-Manuel

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

Yozhik

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.

Baker-King-Worrell-Manuel

You have already voted down on this comment.

Pvdh

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

Yozhik

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.

swimcoach

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

Pvdh

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.

Yozhik

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

Baker-King-Worrell-Manuel

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

Becky D

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

Baker-King-Worrell-Manuel

The correct term is troll.

Yozhik

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

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

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

Yozhik

Thank you.

Yozhik

I wish 😀

Klorn8d

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

Yozhik

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.

USA

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

Yozhik

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?

Baker-King-Worrell-Manuel

You have zero credibility when it comes to personal bests.

Yozhik

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

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson just can’t stay away from the pool. A competitive career of almost two decades wasn’t enough for this Minnesotan, who continues to get his daily chlorine fix. A lifelong lover of writing, Jared now combines the two passions as Senior Reporter for SwimSwam.com, covering swimming at every level. He’s an …

Read More »

Don't want to miss anything?

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive our latest updates!