Gretchen Walsh Rips 45.16 Yards 100 Free, Breaking 4th NCAA Record of the Meet (Video)

by Spencer Penland 28

February 24th, 2024 ACC, College, News



  • NCAA Record: 45.56, Simone Manuel (STAN) – 2017 NCAA Championships
  • ACC Record: 45.61, Gretchen Walsh (UVA) – 2023 NCAA Championships
  • ACC Championship Record: 45.86, Kate Douglass (UVA) – 2023 ACC Championships
  • 2024 NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 47.18
  • 2023 NCAA Invited Time: 48.37

Top 8 Finishers:

  1. Gretchen Walsh (UVA) – 45.16 (NCAA RECORD)
  2. Jasmine Nocentini (UVA) – 46.78
  3. Katharine Berkoff (NCST) – 46.81
  4. Gabi Albiero (LOU) – 47.28
  5. Christiana Regenauer (LOU) – 47.52
  6. Julia Dennis (LOU) – 47.84
  7. Maxine Parker (UVA) – 47.92
  8. Lucy Mehraban (LOU) – 48.09

Gretchen Walsh has done it again. After having broken the NCAA and American Records in the women’s 50 free multiple times on Wednesday, breaking the NCAA and American Records in the 100 fly on Thursday, and breaking the NCAA and American Records in the 100 back yesterday, Walsh shattered all of the records in the 100 free tonight. The superhuman sprint star torched the ‘A’ final of the women’s 100 free tonight in Greensboro, putting up a 45.16 to win the race by a stunning 1.62 seconds.

She obliterated former teammate Kate Douglass‘ ACC Championship record of 45.86 from last year with her performance tonight. Douglass’ 45.86 also stood as the Greensboro Aquatic Center pool record. Walsh also shattered her own ACC record of 45.61, which she set at the NCAA Championships last year. Lastly, Walsh, took 0.40 seconds off Simone Manuel‘s NCAA and American Record mark of 45.56, which has stood since the 2017 NCAAs.

With the swim, Walsh has now put herself on the doorstep of becoming the first woman to break 45 seconds in the yards 100 free. She has the potential to be arguably the biggest “barrier breaker” in SCY swimming history. Walsh already became the first woman to split under 20 seconds in a 50 free the other night when she clocked a 19.95 on the Virginia 200 free relay. That, and in addition to the possibility of going under 45 seconds in the 100 free, Walsh is also inching ever-closer to being the first woman to go under 48 seconds in the 100 fly. That’s not to mention that she went 48.10 in the 100 back leading off UVA’s 400 medley relay last night, which puts her just 0.11 seconds away from being the first woman under 48 seconds in that event as well.

Here is a race video of Walsh’s record-breaking swim:

Walsh’s performances this week have been nothing short of exceptional. Here is a summary of what she’s done at this meet:

  • 5o free: 20.57 (NCAA, American Record)
    • Prelims: 20.77 (was then an NCAA, American Record)
    • Split 19.95 on the 200 free relay (fastest split all-time)
  • 100 free: 45.16 (NCAA, American Record)
    • Prelims: 46.28
    • Split 45.40 on the 400 free relay (flying)
  • 100 fly: 48.25 (NCAA, American Record)
    • Prelims: 49.32
  • 100 back: 48.10 (NCAA, American Record)
  • 200 free: 1:40.23 (#3 performance all-time)

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2 months ago

100m Free at the Olympic trials going to be a dog fight.

Max Hardie
2 months ago

That’s fine, but be mindful that Sjostrom and the Aussies don’t swim SCY, and real swimming is LCM. So far Gretchen has never been a factor, LCM requires superb above water speed and endurance. Hope Gretchen can translate these performances to LCM, time will tell in a few months.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Max Hardie
2 months ago

Shut up shut up shut up!

Reply to  Max Hardie
2 months ago

She took 27 strokes, if I am correct. In 100 LCM she will need probably twice as much. Her very good 200 SCY is a better indicator of what may happen this summer.

John Miranda
2 months ago


2 months ago

Currently the fastest swimmer in the world right now. Kudos to her. Can’t wait to see what she can do in Paris.

Reply to  Swimdad
2 months ago

Fastest in SCY. There are a lot of other fast swimmers not swimming in college right now.

2 months ago

NCAA prediction for G Walsh
50 free – 20.45
100 free – 44.81 (21.16/ 23.65)
100 fly – 47.64 (22.11/ 25.43)
100 back – 47.80 (22.75/ 25.05)
50 free on relay – 19.78

If she swims these, could change

Reply to  SWIM SAM
2 months ago

these are pretty good predictions if she hits her taper right ngl

Reply to  whoisthis
2 months ago

Appreciate that, they always look good and seem like it will happen until they become wildly off 😂

Reply to  SWIM SAM
1 month ago

50 free – 20.37
100 free – 44.83 (21.40/ 23.43)
100 fly – 47.42 (21.75/ 25.67)
100 back Relay – 48.26 (23.06/ 25.20)
50 free on relay – 20.23

2 months ago

Giving Dressel 2018 🤯… actually… better. NCAAs are going to be wild. I wonder if she’ll be able to carry this kind of success into lcm.

Reply to  Swimmingrules
2 months ago

I hope she can. Her underwaters are incredible. But we all know that there are less underwaters in LCM.

Reply to  Swimmingrules
2 months ago

If you look at SwimCloud you will see Gretchen’s 20.57. Next to it, a little “A” for NCAA A cut.

If you look at Caeleb Dressel’s 50 free you see a red exclamation mark. Suspicious time. No matter how hard you look, that is the only one you will find on a legitimate swim on the entire website. Dressel literally broke the system. He went faster than a swimming database thinks is possible.

Dressel and Walsh are not the same. To compare them benefits no one.

Cleo Lemon
Reply to  saltie
2 months ago

Heilman went 1:34 in the 200 free as a 14 year old and it got flagged back at 2021 Juniors

Reply to  saltie
2 months ago

Actually the same thing is by her relay split.

Reply to  Swimmingrules
2 months ago

dressel won the 50 free at NCAAs by a full second, and men’s races are shorter so proportionally it’s over a second for a women’s race. at the time he was about 8 tenths faster than the second fastest performer in history, who was wearing a full body suit and went on the next year to break (and still hold) the LCM 50 free.

even though dressel has inspired/motivated swimmers like crooks by raising the bar, i would bet that dressel’s record will stand for longer than gretchen’s

Reply to  Swimmingrules
2 months ago

To be honest, she probably won’t. Her underwaters are unbelievable..maybe we should just enjoy the short course prowess she has here, this season, and be left in awe.

Grant Drukker
Reply to  Swimmingrules
2 months ago

idk, 2018 SEC Dressel swam 2 off events and set 2 NCAA records.

2 months ago

4 records in one meet without a full taper?!?! Superhuman is right! Will we see the Walsh sisters go even faster at NCAAs in a little over 3 weeks?

Reply to  Lala
2 months ago

She swims fast at every meet in any type of suit. I wouldn’t use the full taper argument. Remember no one is ever tapered.

Grant Drukker
Reply to  Lala
2 months ago

But when will a swimmer FULLY taper? That’s the true question.

2 months ago

Phenomenal weekend of swimming, Gretchen. That 19.9 will redefine the sport forever – as every female swimmer (present & future) now knows it is possible, thanks to you.

Brava! Brava! Brava!