No Rust: After Almost a Year Hiatus from the 200 Fly, Alex Walsh Breaks NCAA Record

2024 ACC SWIMMING AND DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

While her younger sister Gretchen Walsh has been getting a lot of spotlight this week, Virginia senior Alex Walsh put up a statement swim of her own on Friday evening to open the finals session.

In the women’s 200 fly, Alex Walsh swam 1:49.16, which breaks the old NCAA Record of 1:49.51 done by Stanford’s Ella Eastin in 2018. The swim is also the second-fastest performance by anybody in history in this event, behind the 1:48.33 done by Regan Smith in a pro exhibition swim during an Arizona State-NC State dual meet in October.

What makes Walsh’s swim extra-interesting is that 1) she has never swum the race in long course and 2) she hasn’t swum the race in short course since finishing 2nd at NCAAs last year.

Splits Comparison:

Ella Eastin Alex Walsh Regan Smith
Former NCAA Record New NCAA Record Fastest Ever
50y 25.27 24.48 24.75
100y 28.24 27.74 27.60
150y 27.87 28.39 28.18
200y 28.13 28.55 27.80
1:49.51 1:49.16 1:48.33

Walsh was the ACC Record holder and 2023 NCAA runner-up in the 200 fly, swimming 1:50.23 at last year’s NCAA Championship meet to finish behind Emma Sticklen of Texas. Alex Walsh is now the fifth woman in history to go sub-1:50 in this race. While NCAA records have fallen by the fistful in recent years, this is only the second time this one has fallen since Elaine Breeden first cracked that barrier at 1:49.92 in 2009.

All-Time Top 10 Performers, Women’s 200 SCY Fly

  1. Regan Smith, Sun Devil Post-Grad – 1:48.33 (2023)
  2. Alex Walsh, Virginia – 1:49.16 (2024)
  3. Ella Eastin, Stanford – 1:49.51 (2018)
  4. Elaine Breeden, Stanford – 1:49.92 (2009)
  5. Emma Sticklen, Texas – 1:49.95 (2023)
  6. Alex Shackell, Carmel Swim Club – 1:50.15 (2023)
  7. Louise Hansson, USC – 1:50.28 (2019)
  8. Kelsi Dahlia, Louisville – 1:50.61 (2016)
  9. Grace Oglesby, Louisville – 1:50.80 (2019)
  10. Claire Curzan, TAC Titans – 1:50.85 (2022)

Of note on that list, Alex Shackell is still a year-and-a-half away from beginning her college career at Cal.

In addition to the 200 IM she won earlier this week (1:51.76), Walsh now has nine individual ACC event titles, with one more shot on Saturday to make it a round ten. She’s the top seed in the 200 breast. If she doesn’t swim a 5th year (most of Virginia’s best swimmers have not), that would be the last individual ACC swim of her career.

In addition to the NCAA Record, she broke Kelsi Worrell’s Pool Record of 1:51.11 from the 2015 NCAA Championships, her own Conference Record of 1:50.23 from the 2023 NCAA Championships, and Grace Oglesby’s Conference Championship Record of 1:52.81 from the 2019 ACC Championships.

In This Story

11
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of

11 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
swimswum
1 month ago

Alex Walsh interview next!

MTK
1 month ago

About time she tries this event LC, no?

Austinpoolboy
Reply to  MTK
1 month ago

Yes please

MTK
Reply to  Austinpoolboy
1 month ago

Out of the 200s besides IM, this is the one she has a real shot at making the team in. She’s good at all 5 of the 200s, but 200fl is one we haven’t even really seen her attempt.

Eddie
1 month ago

Ella Eastin not on your top 10 list??

Klorn8d
1 month ago

Walsh sisters are having a mother off

HOO love
1 month ago

Queen

Queens
Reply to  HOO love
1 month ago

💪🏼

Noah
1 month ago

Walsh didn’t go out 50.5 last year – touchpad glitch if u watch video

Swimmerj
1 month ago

This is a top 5 all time swim for AW, SCY or LCM. And she’s had a LOT of good swims. I’d even put it at #2 behind her 2022 world title in the 200 IM. She looks great.

Btw that AR from Regan is nuts.

swimgeek
Reply to  Swimmerj
1 month ago

AW swimming a sneaky ELITE level all season. Her LC times at Knoxville (especially quasi off events like 100 free) were huge. I think we could be in for a massive trials from her — I hope she branches out beyond just the IMs

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. 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, …

Read More »