Gretchen Walsh Hops Over Manuel To Become 2nd Fastest 15-16 U.S. 100 Freestyler

7TH FINA WORLD JUNIOR SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS 2019

  • 50-Meter Course
  • Duna Arena, Budapest (Hungary)
  • Pool swimming: Tuesday, August 20 – Sunday, August 25, 2019
  • Heats 9:30am GMT+2 (3:30 am EDT / 12:30 am PDT)/ Semifinals and Finals 5:30pm GMT+2 (11:30am EDT / 8:30am PDT)
  • Meet site
  • Entries book
  • FinaTV Live Stream (subscription required)
  • Live results

16-year-old Gretchen Walsh dipped under the 54-second threshold in the women’s freestyle for the first time in her young career en route to World Junior Championships gold.

After hitting a semi-final time of 54.25 last night to establish herself as the top swimmer in Budapest, the American fired off a monster new personal best mark of 53.74 to take the gold in the only sub-54 second outing of the entire field.

Walsh’s previous personal best entering this competition was the 54.13 she clocked at this summer’s U.S. Nationals. Flash forward to tonight’s swim, however, and the Nashville Aquatics Club star crushed that to pieces, winning the 100m free here in Budapest by .80. The next closest competitor was USA teammate Torri Huske who put up a super solid time of 54.54, just .02 off her own lifetime best. Australia’s Meg Harris touched in 54.58 for bronze.

Here is a comparison of Walsh’s 54.13 previous PB against her wicked-fast 53.74 from tonight:

25.83/28.30 = 54.13

25.57/28.17 = 53.74

With her swim, Walsh inches closer to Olympic icon Missy Franklin‘s National Age Record of 53.63 set back at the 2011 U.S. Nationals, now sitting just .11 away. But, Walsh did overtake Olympic champion in this event, Simone Manuel‘s PB from this age group of 53.86 that was ranked #2 behind Franklin.

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Austinpoolboy
1 year ago

We might have the fourth member of our relay for next year!

Boknows34
Reply to  Austinpoolboy
1 year ago

And might even challenge for that 2nd individual spot.

Barry
Reply to  Austinpoolboy
1 year ago

Top American women over the last few years…

1. Simone Manuel – 52.04
2. Mallory Comerford – 52.94
3. Abbey Weitzeil – 53.18
4. Margo Geer – 53.44
**5. Gretchen Walsh – 53.74**
6. Lia Neal – 53.95
7. Kelsi Dahlia – 54.09
8. Erika Brown – 54.13

54.0 might not make the final at Trials next year.

Heyitsme
Reply to  Barry
1 year ago

Manuel, Comerford, Geer, Walsh/Brown for fourth spot or Huske could squeeze in

ALEXANDER POP-OFF
Reply to  Heyitsme
1 year ago

Hello? Have you heard of Abbey Weitzeil? SHE could challenge for second spot.

Heyitsme
Reply to  ALEXANDER POP-OFF
1 year ago

If she’s on…. it’ll be hard though

Sccoach
Reply to  Heyitsme
1 year ago

just admit you are wrong, everyone has to be on to make top 4 except Manuel. Weitzeil is easily a favorite for a relay spot

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Sccoach
1 year ago

The four top swimmers in the women’s 100 m freestyle are named to the Olympic squad.

Heyitsme
Reply to  Sccoach
1 year ago

Ok oops? I never said I was right, I just missed her completely.

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Sccoach
1 year ago

Geer?

I predict Geer won’t qualify for the Olympic team.

Ger
Reply to  ALEXANDER POP-OFF
1 year ago

She looked great at Nationals; looks to have found her form again.

Tomek
Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
1 year ago

the faster swimmer on the day will make the team, simple as that

Barry
Reply to  Tomek
1 year ago

> the faster swimmer on the day will make the team, simple as that

the fastest six even!

Aquajosh
Reply to  Heyitsme
1 year ago

Watch for Natalie Hinds and Amy Tang (who just popped two 54.1 relay splits) as well.

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Barry
1 year ago
Awsi Dooger
Reply to  Barry
1 year ago

Comerford was actually 52.59 in an opening leg relay split at 2017 World Championships. But she hasn’t approached that time recently or in an individual race. Could be bad timing on both sides for Mallory. She wasn’t good enough in 2016. She definitely would have been second spot in the 100 if Olympics were held any year from 2017 to 2019. Then in 2020 she might be surpassed again. Walsh has more length and upside but it might be one year soon for her

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
1 year ago

USA Swimming
Times
The Data Hub & General Information

https://www.usaswimming.org/Home/times/data-hub

U.S. and World Lists
2019 Top Performers
Gender: Women
Course: LCM
100 FR Women’s
Show Details
6th: Comerford – 52.98
9th: Weitzeil – 53.18 (personal best)

Lane 8
Reply to  Barry
1 year ago

USA now has great depth in both men’s and women’s 100 freestyles.

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
1 year ago

Congratulations Gretchen! Job well done!

Philip Johnson
1 year ago

Going to see some veteran 100 free swimmers of the US not make the relay.

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Philip Johnson
1 year ago

USA Swimming could use some fresh blood.

Breezeway
Reply to  Philip Johnson
1 year ago

Most likely, Lia Neal unless she makes some coaching changes.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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