Gretchen Walsh Posts A 50.07 100 Back In Practice Suit, #1 Time In The NCAA

Yanyan Li
by Yanyan Li 19

January 20th, 2023 ACC, College, National, News

UVA vs. UNC vs. NC State

  • January 20-21, 2023
  • Koury Natatorium, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • SCY (25 Yards)
  • Livestream
  • Live Results under “UVA v NCST v UNC Tri Meet” on MeetMobile

For the second week in a row, a post-midseason invite NCAA-leading time for the 2022-23 season was clocked at a dual meet, in a practice suit. And also for the second week in a row, that nation-leading time was put up by a UVA women’s swimmer.

A week after Kate Douglass swam a nation-leading 1:52.07 200 IM against Virginia Tech, Virginia sophomore Gretchen Walsh put up a 50.07 100 back leading off the 400 medley relay at the UVA-NC State-UNC dual meet. That time is 0.05 seconds faster than Claire Curzan‘s previous nation-leading time of 50.12 set at the NC State midseason invite. In addition, Walsh’s time also beats out her own 50.13 clocked at the Tennessee Invite, and is over a second faster than Maggie MacNeil’s 51.10 that was clocked at the LSU vs. Tulane vs. Vanderbilt dual meet and previously stood as the fastest dual meet time of the season.

As a matter of fact, Walsh and Curzan own the top five 100 back times set during the 2022-23 season.

Top Women’s 100 Back Times, 2022-23 Season:

  1. Gretchen Walsh, Virginia, UVA vs. UNC vs. NC State — 50.07
  2. Claire Curzan, Stanford, NC State Invite — 50.12
  3. Gretchen Walsh, Virginia, Tennessee Invite — 50.13
  4. Claire Curzan, Stanford, NC State Invite — 50.32
  5. Gretchen Walsh, Virginia, Tennessee Invite — 50.37
  6. Maggie MacNeil, LSU, Art Adamson Invitational — 50.70

As shown in the splits, Walsh improved on her back half from invites to now. However, in her two fastest 100 back swims this season, she was faster than Curzan on her front half but slower on her back half, which gives us a sense of how a race between them would play out during NCAAs.

Walsh vs. Curzan, Comparative Splits:

Gretchen Walsh, UVA vs. NC State vs. UNC Claire Curzan, NC State Invite Gretchen Walsh, Tennessee Invite
5oy 24.14 24.41 24.00
100y 25.93 25.71 26.13
Total 50.07 50.12 50.13

Walsh’s entire relay also beat their season-best, as she, Alex Walsh (59.27), Douglass (50.63), and Maxine Parker (48.66) combined for a 400 medley relay time of 3:28.63 that is faster than their midseason invites time of 3:29.15. However, they still remain third in the country behind Stanford (3:26.97) and Texas (3:25.96).

Throughout the season, Gretchen Walsh has been on fire, and has gained a lot of attention for swimming particularly fast times in dual meets (such as when she clocked the then-fastest 50 fly split ever in a dual meet against Florida). As of now, she still remains undefeated in individual events for the 2022-23 season.

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swimfan27
5 days ago

I’m confused: are there two sessions for the meet today?

HOOlove
Reply to  swimfan27
5 days ago

No- session 1 was mostly longer events and 50 free at UNC on 1/20, session 2 is primarily shorter events at NC State today (1/21)

HOO love
5 days ago

ella nelson quite close to her best time in that 400 IM tonight. excited to see what she brings in the post season!!

Breezeway
5 days ago

And yet there is the AR 2 time defending NCAA 48 sec champ just chilling and waiting.

Xman
5 days ago

Is she the one who seems to prefer “practice suits” over knee skins?

IRO
5 days ago

Virginia has potentially three women who could win three events each…

Reply to  IRO
5 days ago

I mean, last year at NCAAs they did win 7 events combined.

But, Day 1 presents a problem. Douglass will swim 200 IM or 50 free, and obvi Gretchen swims the 50 and Alex the 200. So someone isn’t winning on day 1…

UNLESS Alex switches to the 500 free and blows everyone out of the water. Which I think is the obvious move here by Virginia. Go for the full day 1 event sweep

Joel Lin
Reply to  Yanyan Li
5 days ago

Yes. If Alex Walsh swims the 500, she wins it.

4:31

Joel Lin
Reply to  Joel Lin
5 days ago

…and the Gator fanatics have entered the thumbs down brigade.

Hey, big Emma Weyant fan here. But Alex Walsh is going to do Alex Walsh things at NCAAs this year and next year. She’s the most versatile woman swimmer since Tracy Caulkins. All four strokes, any distance, any day, every time.

Buckeyeboy
Reply to  Joel Lin
5 days ago

except a long course 400 IM. The rest I would agree with.

Ervin
Reply to  Joel Lin
5 days ago

Alex Walsh aint going a 4:31 but shes beating Weyant head to head in whatever event they match up in

Last edited 5 days ago by Ervin
swimfan27
Reply to  Yanyan Li
5 days ago

Alex Walsh is the most versatile swimmer on earth and always seems to perform at the highest level when it counts, so I’d give the upper hand to her. Still would be surprised if she is put in the 500 over the 200 IM, though.

jeff
Reply to  Coleman Hodges
5 days ago

tbh given how weak the 500 free is in the NCAA right now I think it’s very possible that she does go for it. Last season until the sandpipers start rolling in and prevent anyone else from winning that event lol

anon
5 days ago

What’s up with Matt King? looks like 2 straight meets he’s absent

HOO love
Reply to  anon
5 days ago

Anna Keating too

Elmer
Reply to  HOO love
5 days ago

Both preparing to transfer?

Admin
Reply to  anon
5 days ago

Coaches said “dealing with family matters.” Boyle is out with an injury, 1-4 week timeline.

HOO love
5 days ago

and she remained undefeated through her 50 free too 🙂

About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Although Yanyan wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming through scoring countless dual meets, being a timer, and keeping track of her teammates' best times for three years as a team manager. She eventually ventured into the realm of writing and joined SwimSwam in …

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