Gretchen Walsh Swims 50.05 100 Back, Unsuited, in End-of-Practice Swim (With Touchpads)

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 37

September 22nd, 2023 ACC, College, News

The University of Virginia women’s swimming & diving team begins its chase of an NCAA Championship four-peat next weekend with its annual intrasquad meet. On Friday, though, swimmers gave a preview at the end of practice with choice 100s, timed with touchpads, in their practice suits.

Gretchen Walsh, the NCAA Record holder and defending NCAA Champion in the 100 yard backstroke, swam 50.05 in that same event on Friday morning – without the benefits of a technical racing suit. That time would have placed 3rd at the NCAA Championships last year, behind only her own 48.26 and Katharine Berkoff’s 49.13.

Walsh, already a star of this team last year as a sophomore, will take on a new prominence this year after the ‘Hoos graduated one of the greatest collegiate swimmers of all-time Kate Douglass. Besides her NCAA title last year in the 100 back, Walsh also won the 100 free (45.61), just missing the all-time mark there, and was 2nd in the 50 free behind now-graduated LSU 5th-year Maggie MacNeil.

Gretchen Walsh and her older sister Alex will form the nucleus of the team as they chase another title. The team one of the top classes in the nation this year, and superstar power joining the varsity next year in the form of Leah Hayes and Stanford transfer Claire Curzan.

Curzan, who has already enrolled at Virginia and is training with the team during a redshirt year, was among the other swimmers participating in the meet. She swam 52.2 in the 100 fly, where the aforementioned Douglass swam 51.7 and Alex Walsh swam 53.8. Aimee Canny, best known as a freestyler, chose breaststroker for her end-of-practice timed swim and landed a 1:02.3.

Canny isn’t likely to supplant Alex Walsh (56.79 split at NCAAs last year) as the team’s medley relay breaststroker, nor the South African duo of Tatjana Schoenmaker or Lara van Niekerk internationally. It wouldn’t be the first time, though, that a Virginia woman came to Charlottesville with one specialty and wound up finding another.

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2 months ago

GW has some serious talent, and it’s exciting when it is on display.

2 months ago

unsuited is naked haha

Alison England
2 months ago

Swimming naked is pretty brave!

Old Guy in Speedos
2 months ago

Yeah but how quickly can she eat 6 Gusburgers???

Masters swammer
2 months ago

LOL, “unsuited” makes it sound like she swam the event naked

Reply to  Masters swammer
2 months ago

Welcome to swimswam comments! Stick around. You’ll learn a lot!

Masters swammer
Reply to  Swimswam
2 months ago

I know that it really means she was wearing a practice suit, but c’mon, “unsuited” still a funny thing to say.

Tough audience

2 months ago

Video please! 🙄

2 months ago

This video of her 54.2 100 kick still leaves me scratching my head:

The Original Tim
Reply to  dg5301
2 months ago

I’m pretty sure my best teenage 100 kick with fins was a low 54!

The Original Tim
Reply to  The Original Tim
2 months ago

Not sure what happened to the rest of my comment… 🤷

Anyways, I was trying to say that my best time with long fins was around her time without fins, which is blazing fast! Super impressive kicking from her.

2 months ago

Sources very close to me saying Joseph Schooling dropped a 49.99 unsuited at the end of 10k set

Reply to  Andrew
2 months ago

100LCM Breaststroke of course

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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