Ultra Swim Swimmer of the Month: Gretchen Walsh

Ultra Swim Swimmer of the Month is a recurring SwimSwam feature shedding light on a U.S.-based swimmer who has proven themselves over the past month. As with any item of recognition, Swimmer of the Month is a subjective exercise meant to highlight one athlete whose work holds noteworthy context – perhaps a swimmer who was visibly outperforming other swimmers over the month, or one whose accomplishments slipped through the cracks among other high-profile swims. If your favorite athlete wasn’t selected, feel free to respectfully recognize them in our comment section.

Between U.S. Nationals and World Juniors, Gretchen Walsh was on fire in the month of August.

Walsh improved her lifetime-bests in five events at U.S. Nationals, then focused in on her best two events at World Juniors, dropping even further. The 16-year-old won six gold medals at the World Junior Championships, pulling big splits on four different U.S. relay teams.

Here’s a look at how Walsh’s career-bests improved in August:

Date 50m free 100m free 200m free 100m fly 100m back
End of 2018 25.03 54.38 2:01.40 1:00.80 1:01.46
After 2019 US Nationals 24.85 54.13 2:01.12 58.84 1:00.26
After 2019 World Juniors 24.71 53.74

Walsh now ranks 4th among Americans this season in the 100 free, 4th in the 50 free and inside the top 12 in the 100 back and top 20 in the 100 fly.


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1 year ago

She’s not too bad! Actually, she’s amazing. NCSU?! Race sister Alex at VA and make ACC’s/ NCAA’s fun for the next three years!

1 year ago

I mean … can you picture that UVA squad at NCAAs a few years down the line with both Walsh girls, Douglass, Nelson, etc.

Reply to  Swammer
1 year ago

How do you know that Gretchen will follow her sister to UVA?

DeSorbo Effect
Reply to  MÊME
1 year ago

Because their mother has already publicly stated in an interview she wants her daughter’s to be together.

Together at the same university with the bestest coaching, team dynamics, and academics.

Go Hoos! The hype is real!

Reply to  DeSorbo Effect
1 year ago

DeSorbo Effect – that’s not what she said at all. I assume you’re referencing this interview – https://www.tennessean.com/story/sports/high-school/2019/01/25/harpeth-halls-alex-and-gretchen-walsh-stars-swimming-pool/2568661002/

“Sometimes I think they will (go to the same school) and sometimes I think they won’t,” Glynis Walsh said. “Some days I think that’d be better, and then sometimes I think they need to be in their own environment.

“I don’t know, I’m just trying to survive this year.”

1 year ago

53 in the 100 LCM FR is serious business. She is going to Tokyo.

Bobo Gigi
Reply to  NoFlyKick
1 year ago

It’s now the minimum required to exist at the international level.
52 if you want a medal.
If she can be close to 52 next year then USA has a good chance of finally win the olympic gold medal in the women’s 4X100 free relay. Weitzeil/Comerford/Walsh/Manuel
It’s crazy to think that their last gold was in 2000!

Texas Tap Water
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 year ago

Hi Bobo,

What happened to French swimming? They came #19 in Gwangju?

Has the training changed? Not enough juice?

Reply to  Texas Tap Water
1 year ago

i think their entire junior programme is soemewhat Good , but not good enough ( and well supported as in Italy for example ) to get new talents out there + relays .

Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 year ago

i agree – that could be the final line-up to close down the gap on the Aussies . If gretchen can be around 53.00 at OT , than she can deliver a 52.6 /52.7 on the relay .

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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