Gretchen Walsh Drops 21.59 50 Free for New National High School Record

Photo Courtesy: FINA / Budapest 2019

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Gretchen Walsh stole the show on the first night of the 2020 TISCA Championships in Knoxville. Shortly after anchoring Harpeth Hall’s winning 4×50 medley relay in a blazing 21.20 split, she was back in the pool to win the 50 free in a jaw-dropping 21.59.

Her time lowered the overall National High School record of 21.64 set by Abbey Weitzeil on May 16, 2015 at the CIF State Championships. Walsh’s swim also broke the National Independent High School record previously held by Maddy Schaefer at 22.24 since May 22, 2010.

Weitzeil, who recently became the first woman to ever break 21 seconds in the 50 free, still owns the National Public High School record in the event.

Walsh’s best time stood at 21.82 set at Juniors East on December 6, 2018 prior to this swim. Only a high school junior, her time would currently rank fifth in the NCAA so far this season and would’ve placed eighth at the 2019 NCAA Championships.

She now ranks fourth all-time in the girls’ 17-18 50 free:

1. Simone Manuel – 21.32
2. Abbey Weitzeil – 21.49
3. Kate Douglass – 21.53
4. Gretchen Walsh – 21.59
5. Maddie Murphy – 21.76

Walsh does her club swimming with Nashville Aquatic Club and is a member of the USA Swimming National Team. As a team captain at the 2019 World Junior Championships in Budapest, Walsh collected two individual golds and three relay golds while helping Team USA to a World Junior record in the mixed 4x100m free relay.

She recently verbally committed to Virginia for the fall of 2021.

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