Will Gretchen Walsh Translate NCAA Dominance into U.S. Olympic Trials Success?

Gretchen Walsh  made history at NCAA Championships this past spring breaking three NCAA records in her individual events, but how much has Gretchen grown since the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials?   In my opinion, her San Antonio Pro Swim times indicate she’s on track to deliver at the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials.

San Antonio Pro Swim:

  • 50m Free – 24.29
  • 100m Free – 53.17
  • 100m Fly – 56.14

Those times for Gretchen are down from spring 2023, and, considering she’s fresh off of the grind and the stress of a perfect college season, that’s a positive sign.

In San Antonio coach Todd DeSorbo told Gretchen after her 53.17 100m free that she was breaking the American record.  While that might be pure coach positivity, I think a lot of swim fans believe Gretchen’s got the talent to deliver in meters. (Watch the interview.  Gretchen shares  this DeSorbo reaction in a way that provides great insight into this coach-swimmer dynamic.)


I believe in Todd DeSorbo, but I also think the 100 free American record is bit fast (52.04)  I think she’s…

  • 100m free – 52.41 for 1st   
  • 100 fly – 55.8 for 2nd
  • 50 free – 23.8 for 1st

But who cares what I think? It’s all about what you think. Drop your comments below.

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Opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the interviewed guests do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of the hosts, SwimSwam Partners, LLC and/or SwimSwam advertising partners.

This is a Gold Medal Media production presented by SwimOutlet.com. Host Gold Medal Mel Stewart is a 3-time Olympic medalist and the co-founder of SwimSwam.com, a Swimming News website.

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19 days ago

I think when you interview her, she really wasn’t necessarily ‘ready’ for the 2020/2021 olympics, and the worlds subsequently after that (She caught a lot of unnecessary negativity from her last worlds meet being not close to her trials times (mainly due to being post-taper and not having the back end of her races).

I think a few things about this –

  1. Her confidence in herself going into this trials is probably the highest she’s ever been. She said in interviews how nervous she was at her international meets, but I think now that she has ‘arrived’ in terms of some absolutely ridiculous times in short course, I bet this will certainly help boost her mindset in long course…she
… Read more »

Scott Bonney
23 days ago

Isn’t this Gretchen’s 3rd Olympic Trials ?

I miss the ISL (Go dawgs)
Reply to  Scott Bonney
23 days ago

Yep! She competed in 2016 and was only 13, youngest at the entire meet.

Aragon Son of Arathorne
23 days ago

she already is. I can’t wait to see her make the team. I don’t see any scenario that she doesn’t make the team in at least 2 events. I’m slightly concerned for Alex, though, but I think she and Kate go 1-2 in the 2IM.

Aragon Son of Arathorne
Reply to  Aragon Son of Arathorne
23 days ago

ok mr downvote- what swimmers will beat her in the 50 free, 100 free, and 100 fly? Kate and Torri are are her only real dangers in her events. She makes the 4×100 free relay whether she wins or gets top 4. She also gets 2nd in the 100 fly, beating Curzan.

23 days ago

Good morning Mel, can you publish your charts and statistical analysis of your predictions? Them and the comments for them are my favorite articles on SwimSwam. But a full breakdown of accuracy, success rate, progress over the years (decades?), accuracy comparisons across strokes and between male and female would be an important aid in reading future predictions.
Did you predict Misty winning? Mary T prediction when you were a kid? I’m womb analysis of Mark Spitz?

23 days ago

God, Mel, I hope you’re right and W2 amazes us all in the 100 Free, Fly and 50! We need as many sub-53 free splits as possible to keep close to the Aussie ladies.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  danjohnrob
23 days ago

Ya I think it’s possible they stick with ’em, it’s just going to take 95th percentile performances* from all of the US swimmers to do it.

(*A bunch of baseball projections serve multiple projections that way – like, Huske hitting her 99th would be going idk, 54.9 in the 100 fly, but her 5th percentile would be like, 58.5. 50th would be what we’re most likely to expect, so something like 55.high.)

Miss M
23 days ago

I’m an Aussie Gretchen fangirl, but feel like I literally have no idea what she will put up at trials.

I’m thinking:
* 100m free – 52.54 for 4th (I have KD, Manuel and Weitzel all firing so that the top 4 finish within 0.30 of each other, and making the 4×100 a race with the Aussies)
100 fly – 55.93 for 2nd
50 free – 23.91 for 1st

Reply to  Miss M
23 days ago

If a 52.5 is 4th at US Trials that would be shocking.

Reply to  IRO
23 days ago

I could see 4 under 53 but probably not 52.5 for 4th

Reply to  Proboscus
23 days ago

If Simone Manuel still retains the monster taper in the locker, potentially two female swimmers post faster times than the U.S. Open Record in the women’s 100 meter freestyle:

Douglass, Kate
Manuel, Simone

That’s two and only two.

Reply to  IRO
23 days ago

Not gonna happen.

Reply to  Miss M
23 days ago

Not to burst your bubble, Abbey Weitzeil’s personal best time is 52.92 in the women’s 100 meter freestyle.

Honest swim fan
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
22 days ago

Not to burst your bubble, multi-name, but a 0.38 PB at Olympic Trials (which would result in a :52.54), while not a guarantee, would not be that unusual.

Reply to  Miss M
23 days ago

I’m totally with you! I absolutely fangirl over Gretchen Walsh! She is so personable and relatable in how she talks about herself, her training, her goals, etc. I’ve never seen an interview with her where her answers sound ‘cautious’ or overly practiced/prepared. She comes across as being so relatable and her vocal variety is real (for lack of a better word). Simply put, when asked about her success, her progress and/or her future in the sport, it is refreshing and lovely to hear her speak about herself with as much genuine excitement and energy as us fangirls.

I think most people would agree that, at this point, other athletes who have experienced similar levels of success begin to signs of… Read more »

24 days ago

Will she translate SCY success into LCM success? As I’ve always said, SCY teaches great skills to use in LCM but success in one doesn’t guarantee success in the other.

Mel’s predictions seem a little optimistic as usual. But I do expect her to set PBs in all three events. She’ll qualify individually in the 50 free and 100 fly, and be top 4 in the 100 free.

Reply to  Sub13
23 days ago

50 free depends very much on whether Kate Douglass swims it or not.

Aragon Son of Arathorne
Reply to  Sub13
23 days ago

I may be on the fringe with this prediction, but i think she has the chance to take Top 2 in the 100 free. Kate will not make it easy for her but she’s got got kate’s number (if kate swims that race). Kate has also been 23.9 and began reeling in Sjoestrom at worlds in that last 10 meters. I don’t think Abigail Weitzel or Simone can beat Gretchen this year, but they will bring it.

I worry about Claire the most. She’s worked hard to get a great 2 back and she has Bacon and White to deal with. 2 killers that come through when it matters.

24 days ago

all I know is that tmzhang is dust in the 100 fly with my American queens Huske and walsh

Reply to  Lotus
24 days ago

Can we look forward to you bringing China into every single article between now and Paris?

Greg P
Reply to  Sub13
24 days ago

Lotus: challenge accepted!

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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