2022 U.S. National Championships in Irvine, CA served as a redemption meet for UVA swim star Gretchen Walsh after she missed making the U.S. World Champs Team at the 2022 International Team Trials. Team Trials, if we’re being honest, wasn’t an ideal competition coming so close on the heels of the 2022 NCAA DI Championships. At U.S. Nationals Walsh proved she’s a star to contend with earning the women’s high point for the meet.
In Irvine, Walsh notched a win in the 100 fly, missing her PB by .01 with a 57.44. She earned silver in the 50 free (24.47) and 100 free (53.86), and touched 5th in the 100 back (1:00.03). Interestingly, noting her mental strategy, Walsh’s coach Todd DeSorbo had her wear a practice suit in the prelims of the 100 free–not allowing her to race in a tech suit until she hit a predetermined time. She raced in a tech suit for the 100 free final and throughout the remainder of the meet.
UVA FRESHMAN REFRESH
At her first NCAA Championships, Walsh placed 2nd in the 50 free (20.95, #3 performer All-Time), 2nd in the 100 back (49.00, #2 performer All-Time), and won her first individual NCAA title in the 100 free at 46.05 (#4 performer All-Time). She also helped UVA to title in the 200 free, 400 free, 200 medley, and 400 medley relays, breaking NCAA, U.S. Open, and American records in the 400 medley and free relays.
While it’s too early in the season to make Walsh predictions (though we welcome them), her first NCAA Champs was a big breakout moment. I think we can expect the same from her in long course next summer, though I’m not entirely sure what that will look like. What do you think?
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This is a Gold Medal Media production presented by SwimOutlet.com. Host Gold Medal Mel Stewart is a 3-time Olympic medalist and the co-founder of SwimSwam.com, a Swimming News website.
keren banget mantap
now do a thing about her seester who is about a second from the WR.
If she can so much as improve just a miniscule amount, she’s a shoe in for the relay, at a minimum at trials.
Do they have long course days during the NCAA season at this level?
Yep. At UVa they even do long course time trials every few weeks.
Gretchen is the best, and I hope she and the other UVa women school-up a certain Stanford freshman swimmer at NCAAs.
Who is her talking about? Curzan?
Such a loser comment.
Seriously? Why the hate? They are both fantastic.
She is embracing college and thriving in it. That’s what I’m impressed with.
OMG she is so cute!
Have a strong feeling she’s going to be ready to do what it takes by Olympic Trials ’24.
…not sure why anyone would vote that comment down. Her 100m free makes her stalwart for the relay, and if she keeps developing her 100 back and 100 fly….I mean, come on?
I’d say 50 and 100 free are her best bets. Back and fly are super crowded at the top and G seems to have a better LCM free compared to her fly and back. She’s a stud for sure.
That depends if Gretchen Walsh continues momentum next year in the 50 meter pool from the 2022 Phillips 66 National Championships.
…here’s my thinking, college is jarring. Freshman year is a tough hurdle. If/when an elite gets over that hump that first year, there is a chance we could be witnessing another breakout – breakthrough – at some point Soph to Jr year, which dovetails with ’24 OTs. And, having a talented coach, DeSorbo, of course, matters. In sum, Gretchen could improve in the 100 strokes, becoming a real factor in those events.
Halfway through last season she really showed nothing and then bam she exploded after the 1st of the year. I predict all 1st or 2nd place finishes individually and same relay wins next year with some real small fractional improvements in her times since she is already on top of her game. The real question is what is she capable of in LCM. Remains to be seen.
She’s a likely Olympian in the 4×100 free relay. Hard to see six hands get to the wall ahead of hers at Trials. The 50 is all about getting her full potential out. A good start, a good breakout & she’s in he fight.
How much upside in the women’s 100 meter freestyle remains to be seen.
That also depends if Manuel and Weitzeil rebound.
The domestic competition in the women’s 100 meter backstroke is brutal:
and even after those 4 there are Phoebe Bacon and Olivia Smoliga who can throw down solid times
Bacon, yes. Smoliga, I dont know about in 2 years.