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.
University of Virginia sophomore Alex Walsh had a flawless NCAA performance earlier this month, scoring the maximum 60 individual points as the Cavaliers went on to a dominant repeat championship victory.
Walsh and junior teammate Kate Douglass (January’s Ultra Swimmer of the Month) led the UVA effort by sweeping their individual events and contributing on four relays apiece, with the Cavs winning four of the team events and finishing in the runner-up position in the other.
For Walsh, she won the 200 IM in a new NCAA, U.S. Open and American Record time of 1:50.08, and also came out on top handily in the 400 IM (3:57.25) and prevailed over a competitive field in the 200 fly (1:50.79). The 20-year-old is now the fourth-fastest performer of all-time in the 400 IM and the sixth-fastest swimmer ever in the 200 fly.
What stands out about Walsh’s performance at the meet beyond the individual accolades was the mind-boggling level of versatility she showed in the relays.
While none of it was a surprise after what she did at the ACC Championships, Walsh proved once again that she is one of the nation’s best in the 50, 100 and 200 free and the 100 fly to go along with the events she won individually.
The Nashville native split 49.45 swimming fly on Virginia’s 400 medley relay, the fastest in the field (only sub-50) as they tied their all-time record of 3:22.34 set at ACCs. In the 400 free relay, Walsh had the third-fastest split in the field (46.49) as the Cavs broke the U.S. Open Record in a time of 3:06.91.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic silver medalist added a 21.46 leg on the victorious 200 free relay, and also reeled off a 1:41.92 split on the runner-up 800 free relay.
Including the relays, Walsh had a hand in nearly 40 percent (214 out of 551.5) of UVA’s points at the meet.
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