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***Originally published on March 11, 2019***
Fresh off her latest National Age Group Record in the 200 breast, Alex Walsh has announced her verbal commitment to the University of Virginia Swimming and Diving class of 2024. She will join Abby Harter and Anna Keating in Charlottesville in the fall of 2020.
“I could not be happier to announce my verbal commitment to swim at the University of Virginia!!! So thankful for my family, friends, teammates, and coaches for their support throughout this process and my entire swimming career… GO HOOS 🧡💙⚔️ #wahoowa”
Walsh, #2 on our list of top-20 recruits from the high school class of 2020, is currently a junior at Harpeth Hall High School in Nashville, Tennessee. She swims year-round for Nashville Aquatic Club and is a member of the U.S. National Team. In high school swimming, she is 6-for-6 in individual TISCA titles: 200 free (1:45.05) and 100 breast (59.08) in 2019; 200 free (1:45.93) and 100 breast (58.88) in 2018; and 200 free (1:45.24) and 100 back (52.80) in 2017. She holds Tennessee State High School Records in the 200 free (1:45.05), 100 back (52.80), 100 breast (58.88), 200 medley relay, and 400 free relay. In club swimming she won the 100 back, 100/200 breast, and 200 IM at Winter Juniors East, setting meet records in the 100 back (50.88), 200 breast (2:06.02), and 200 IM (1:53.69). She appears on the all-time top-100 lists 35 times in SCY alone, including NAG records in the 11-12 200 back, 200 breast and 100 IM, 13-14 200 IM, 15-16 100 breast, 200 breast and 200 IM, and 17-18 200 breast.
A highly versatile swimmer, Walsh is an instant game-changer for the Cavaliers. She already has NCAA A-final qualifying times in the 100 back, 100 breast, 200 breast, 100 fly, and 200 IM and would have been a B-finalist in the 50 free, and 200 back. She will also be a major threat on 4-5 relays for the Cavaliers. Her 23.64 50 backstroke time would have been the fourth-fastest leadoff split at 2018 NCAAs behind Stanford’s Ally Howe (23.54), Indiana’s Ally Rockett (23.54), and Cal’s Kathleen Baker (23.56).
This is purely speculation, but you are all thinking it so I’ll say it: If the Walsh sisters are anything like the Foster brothers (both of whom are verbal commits to Texas), Virginia could be a contender for the NCAA women’s title in the very near future and for years to come.
Top SCY times:
- 50 free – 22.08
- 100 free – 48.90
- 200 free – 1:45.05
- 50 back – 23.64
- 100 back – 50.88
- 200 back – 1:51.42
- 100 breast – 58.19
- 200 breast – 2:05.87
- 100 fly – 51.31
- 200 IM – 1:53.69
- 400 IM – 4:07.98
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She’s 48.9 and freestyle is her worst stroke…
welcome to Hooville Alex, you will love it! Great school! the ACC is loading up!
Congratulations! Great choice.
She should’ve signed with a SEC school.
Don’t know about the other SEC schools but A&M rarely ever gets anyone of this caliber. Instead, Steve Bultman “develops” his talent & is a master at it. That school is “Breast Stroke U”. You wanta be a great one in breast stroke, then head to College Station!!! I’m glad for this girl though & her choice. Hope it works out for her!!
I wonder if this could also signal a downfall to NC State? State has picked up a lot of great talent – not snubbing them at all. They have done well on the recruiting side since Desorbo left – but I wonder if he was the dynamite getting a swimmer like Walsh? This post is only intended to spark debate – not to say NC State is going to disappear and not challenge and win multiple an ACC title. Interested to hear thoughts.
Well, they just signed Katharine Berkoff. I would take Walsh over Berkoff, but Berkoff was the #3 recruit in her class…so hard to say that that’s a sign of their impending disappearance from the national scene.
And they signed Abby Arens for the class of 2020 who had a great Cary sectionals too. VA is on the upswing but so is NCSU.
in addition, Louisville has already signed #12, #13, and #14 for from the 2020 list. They aren’t going anywhere. VaTech has signed #10 Chase Travis. #6 Phoebe Bacon is from Northern Va and will certainly be considering ACC schools. The ACC is a legit power conference now
Phoebe Bacon is from Chevy Chase Maryland 🙂
Oops – sorry about that!
I would also take Kate Douglass over Berkoff. Not to mention the rest of UVA’s monster 2019 haul (Nelson, Donahue, Cuomo, etc) over any other school’s recruiting class, let alone NCS. That huge recruiting class definitely played a role in getting Alex.
Sure. UVA’s class is better than NC State’s, I’m with you there.
But, UVA rising is not the same thing as NC State slipping.
UVA spent all their recruiting money early last year. They did land a lot of big guns but with Walsh early committing there may not be much more for the class of 2020.
I think this will continue to fuel the rivalry, which is great. If UNC can hire a good coach, they may be back in the mix soon as well elevating the ACC to a truly top conference.
I sure hope she isn’t committing to UVA now with the thoughts of later decomitting and heading to Stanford if she can later.
Isn’t that exactly what Emma Wheel did last summer?
She’s a teenager and this probably one of the bigger decisions she’s made in her life so far. She gets to change her mind if she wants to. I’m sure both parties are aware of that.
“If she can”???
A swimmer like Alex Walsh can get a scholarship anywhere she likes.
Ludicrous to think that an athlete throwing down that collection of times is only #2. 2021 NCAAs is going to be insane
Congratulations to Alex. Top tier academics and will be fun to see both Alex and the team on the podium. The recruits (outside her sister) in NC, VA and DC coming up have to see UVA is a top destination! The only thing better than joining a national team contender is being part of the development of a national team contender!
Exactly. That can be a big draw for some who are looking to chart their own path instead of joining an existing dynasty