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?
Follow Gretchen Walsh on Instagram.
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