Walsh: “That was probably the most painful 50 I’ve ever swam in my entire life”


Reported by James Sutherland.


  • World Record: Katinka Hosszu (HUN) – 2:06.12 (2015)
  • American Record: Ariana Kukors – 2:06.15 (2009)
  • US Open Record: Kathleen Baker (USA) – 2:08.32 (2018)
  • World Junior Record: Yu Yiting (CHN) – 2:09.64 (2021)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Katinka Hosszu (HUN) – 2:06.58
  • 2016 US Olympic Trials Champion: Maya DiRado – 2:09.54
  • Wave I Cut: 2:17.39
  • Wave II Cut: 2:15.26
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 2:12.56
  1. Alex Walsh (NAC), 2:09.30
  2. Kate Douglass (UVA), 2:09.32
  3. Madisyn Cox (TXLA), 2:09.34

This meet has had no shortage of unbelievably close three-way finishes, and we might’ve just seen the best one yet.

Alex Walsh came in riding the momentum of hitting a personal best in the semi-finals, and used her strength, the middle 100, to move into the lead after Torri Huske had blasted the fly leg in 26.52.

Madisyn Cox made her move on the breaststroke, taking over second at the 150, and looked to be on the way to finally earning her first Olympic berth. Walsh’s UVA teammate Kate Douglass began to make her push on the freestyle, and then it was the three of them—Walsh, Cox and Douglass—neck and neck in the closing meters.

Despite her stroke tying up at the end, Walsh held on for the win, touching in 2:09.30 to qualify for her first Olympic team, over four tenths slower than the semis.

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Texas Tap Water
1 year ago

Madisyn Cox should have drank more Texas Tap Water

Wave 1.5 Qualifier
1 year ago

In retrospect, this was such an intriguing final. UVA training partners in the 2 center lanes, both still seeking their first Olympic berth. Flanking them are experienced sharks (Margalis in 2 and Cox in 6) who are still trying to get on the Tokyo team in possibly the last attempt for each. And throw in an already-qualified Huske outside them all, a rabbit on the greyhound track.

That head-to-head matchup at their ACC Championships in February turned out to be a great test drive for this moment.

Little Mermaid
Reply to  Wave 1.5 Qualifier
1 year ago

Same outcome at NCAA championships as here!

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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