Splashbacks: Gretchen Walsh, Zane Grothe Post New Records in Nov-Dec 2017


It’s been another amazing year of aquatics competition, including an exciting trip to Budapest for the World Championships, and Swimming World had our readers covered every step of the way.  During the next few days, we’ll take a look back in “Splashbacks”, the most read stories of 2017.

The final two months on our 2017 list are November and December, where Gretchen Walsh and Zane Grothe both made history with massive time drops in the sprint and distance freestyle.

1. Swimming’s Effect on the Brain

It’s argued that swimmers are addicted to the sport and Swimming World intern Alice Reeves-Turner proved just that in her commentary “Swimming’s Effect on the Brain.” The answer to why swimmers are addicted to the sport? Endorphins.

2. Gretchen Walsh Almost Becomes First 14-Year-Old Under 22 Seconds in 50 Free

14-year-old Gretchen Walsh became the fastest female in the 13-14 age group in December when she threw down a sizzling 22.00 second 50 free. That time broke the nAG record she had set earlier that day at a 22.26, ultimately taking down Katherine Douglas’ previous NAG record of 22.32.

3. 2018 NCAA Division III Swimming Qualifying Times Announced

The swimming community began looking ahead to the upcoming 2017-18 NCAA Championships by eagerly pouring over the Division III qualifying times. The NCAA Division III Championships are set to be held March 21-24 in Indianapolis.

4. Merrimack College Signs 9-Year-Old Molly McBryan to 2017-18 Roster

Merrimack College continued to work with Team IMPACT, an organization that connects sick children with local college athletic teams, by signing 9-year-old Molly McBryan to their 2017-18 roster. As a member of the Merrimack team, McBryan will get to attend practices, meets, team dinners, and much more.

5. NCAA Swimming Notes: Are Texas Men in Trouble? 

The Texas men have dominated the Division I NCAA Championships for the last three years, however, they have lost the first three meets of their 2017-18 season. Will the Longhorns be able to defend their NCAA title?

6. Rutgers Fires Head Women’s Swimming Coach Petra Martin

Petra Martin was asked to step away from her position as head coach of the women’s swimming program at Rutgers University in mid-November after it was reported that she was verbally abusive towards athletes.

7. VIDEO: Navy Senior Swimmers Learn Service Assignments at Purdue Invite

It’s a special moment for Navy seniors to learn what their service assignment will be following graduation. Due to their being at a swim meet, the Navy swimmers were unable to attend meeting to learn of their service assignments, so the meet officials stopped the Purdue Invite for the Navy seniors to learn. Watch their reactions now!

8. 10 Things Swimming Parents Do That Coaches Can’t Stand

The final top ten countdown of 2017 includes one last throwback to earlier writings by Swimming World contributor Wayne Goldsmith. In 2015, Goldsmith penned the commentary “10 Things Swimming Parent Do That Coaches Can’t Stand” explaining some of the frustrations that parents provide coaches.

9. Bob Bowman’s Arizona State Sun Devil’s Becoming Competitive

It was two and a half years that Bob Bowman took over the swimming and diving team at Arizona State University and the Sun Devils have once again become a competitive team. Bowman quickly took reigns and began turning the Sun Devils, an almost extinct team, into an elite team.

10. Zane Grothe Smashes American Record in 500 Free

The 2017 AT&T Winter National Championships belonged to distance swimmer Zane Grothe as he downed the American record in both the 500 and 1650 freestyles. Grothe’s 500 free time of 4:07.25 took down Peter Vanderkaay’s  11-year-old American record.