The Nashville Summer League City Championship is Crazy

Anybody who has followed our recent coverage of USA Swimming’s Junior National Championship events knows that Nashville clubs have had lots of success at recent championship meets, especially on the girls’ side. Many of those swimmers will converge this weekend on the Nashville Summer League City Meet Championship – where Junior National Teamers, senior National Teamers, and age group stars from around the area will converge into an insanely-talented summer league spectacular in the girls’ 15 & over division.

Swimmers are allowed to swim 4 individual events and 2 relays. Swimmers are seeded based on their season bests from summer league, not necessarily from any USA Swimming meets.

Included are USA Swimming National Teamer Alex Walsh, her younger sister Gretchen WalshAlex Massey, and Ophelia Pilkinton, the first three of whom were part of a National Age Group Record-setting relay for Harpeth Hall last season.

The Walsh sisters swim for Hillwood, Massey is a part of the 7 hills team, Pilkinton races for Belle Meade, and another star, Kallie Chelsvig, seeded 1st in the 100 free in 50.03 (reminder: done in a summer league meet), races for Indian Lake. The talent in the older age groups is well-distributed throughout the league, which should make for some fun and fireworks.

The Walsh sisters didn’t swim last year, and they should give a boost to Hillwood – who finished ranked 5th out of 5 teams in the top division of the league at last year’s meet. In true summer-league fashion, though, even those two swimmers, both with sights on the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, won’t be enough to win the title on their own. This meet, as summer leagues always do, is going to come down to the 12 & unders that make up the bulk of the teams.

Good luck to all teams participating! See the psych sheets here.

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Dan Powell

While I certainly respect the Nashville Aquatic Club it should be pointed out that Alex Massey, Ophelia Pilkinton, and Kallie Chelsvig all swim for Ensworth Aquatics in Nashville.

Ken Baker

NAC has the history, and the Walsh and Raab families moved into the area and chose NAC, but you’re correct, Ensworth has seen some great growth, with several NAC swimmers leaving NAC for Ensworth. If you take a good look at NAC, the only reason they’ve done well is due to other swimmers moving in. They aren’t like they used to be.

DPS Doctor

The girls for both clubs work hard and are great friends, that’s what matters, please don’t drag this down into a petty tit-for-tat. Coaching elite athletes does not guarantee success, just look at all the pro teams with allstars who fail. The continued success of the NAC girls is something to be celebrated and admired, along with the success of their friends down the road who chose a program that better suited them. The competition over the next couple of years will continue to be a high water mark for swimming in the area and hopefully inspire many kids to pick up the sport!


Join the discussion…


The girls are great friends and this is what matters. Yes, keeping the focus on the happiness and success of all these swimmers is most important. You have to have a team that fits your needs as a swimmer and family.


It is hard for Summer League to be Summer Fun for swimmers that are not National or Junior National swimmers….they have another swimming platform to swim on and keep Summer League for the Summer Swimmers.

Swim Coach

While it’s understandable to see where you’re coming from, swimmers of this caliber play a vital role that is MASSIVELY overlooked in Summer League competitions now-a-days: ROLE MODEL. If the girls make the meet all about themselves and that’s it, then yea… it’s foolish. BUT, if they’re cheering with the team, leading itty-bitty swimmers up to the blocks and supporting them, laughing with their friends and providing an enjoyable experience for their teammates, then isn’t that what they should be doing for those who aren’t at their level yet? Besides, seeing swimmers this fast that are positive role models is cool for young kids that are a part of the team. It definitely gives something to strive for and get… Read more »


What’s even better is seeing superfast kids who are NOT club team swimmers. The ones who play soccer and polo and baseball and mountain bike instead of swimming year-round, and who still manage to go stupid fast in the pool. THAT is inspiring.

DPS Doctor

Pilkinton is one of the top soccer players in the State and one of the top swimmers, Massey was city champion in the 1600 meter and earned two top three finishes at the State track championship as well as led her Fall XC team in the State Championship a week before she swam 5 events at Winter Junior Nationals….., so yes the multi sport girls are well represented


Please define summer fun. As a year round swimmer, fun could be swimming off events in a less stressful meet. For summer league only swimmers, fun could be competing against year round swimmers


Just curious. What is the difference between novice and open? Is it just based on seed time or is it based on whether or not the kid swims a year-round club team as well?

Ken Baker

It’s based on the swimmers time relative to USA Swimming times. Any swimmer in any event with a AAA time in their age group must swim OPEN at the city meet, whether they swim with a club team or not. High school times count.


Surely that cannot be the only distinction. While I believe that a kid with a AAA time would be required to swim in the open category, most of the open-category seed times in that meet sheet posted above are not AAA times, far slower in fact. So that cannot be the only criteria.


True – the other criteria is if a swimmer was a HIGH POINT winner the previous year – and earned a trophy (I think they go 5 spots – they must swim Open the following year. I do believe if they swam in a USA Swimming meet – and perhaps it’s a AA time (you’re correct), then they are considered Open as well. It’s still about the Trophies. Most competitive swimmers within the area don’t swim the event because their coaches don’t want them to – but I agree with others who state, it’s an opportunity to have fun for the summer and swim with friends when the competition isn’t so serious. Wish they would do the same for TN… Read more »

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder 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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