Walsh Sisters, Ella Nelson Destroy State Records with Impressive Splits as Baylor Secures Team Title at Tennessee State Championships

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Agon is the proud sponsor of all high school coverage (recruiting, results, state championships, etc.) on SwimmingWorld.com. For more information about Agon, visit their website?AgonSwim.com.?National Records for High School Are Pending Application Verification.? Click Here to Learn More

The 2019 Tennessee Girls State Swimming and Diving Championships took place from Feb. 8-9 at the Tracey Caulkins Aquatic Center in Nashville, Tenn.

Harpeth Hall had three swimmers break Tennessee state records: Gretchen Walsh in the 100 fly, Alex Walsh in the 200 free and Ella Nelson in the 200 IM. Baylor School used their depth to post a six-point win over Harpeth Hall, finishing with 320 points.

Click here for full results.

Top 5 Team Scores:

  1. Baylor School – 320
  2. Harpeth Hall – 314
  3. Hardin Valley Academy – 151
  4. Maryville – 133
  5. Ensworth – 129

Baylor School’s Ellie Waldrep (24.64), Jewel Gordon (28.08), Addison Smith (23.98) and Calli West (23.21) began the meet by winning the 4×50 medley relay in 1:39.91. They held off a charging Harpeth Hall (1:40.13) where anchor G. Walsh split a blistering 21.19. Girls Preparatory School took a distant third in 1:46.92.

A. Walsh cruised to first in the 200 free, leading the race from start to finish to post a quick 1:45.05. Her time eclipsed her own Tennessee state record of 1:45.24 she set two years ago. Ensworth School’s Kallie Chelsvig (1:48.36) completed the top three while Hardin Valley Academy’s Emily Aycock (1:49.68) also snuck under the 1:50 mark.

Nelson, a Virginia commit, dropped over six second off her prelims time to dominate the 200 IM in a final time of 1:57.80 as the only swimmer in the field to break two minutes. Her time just got her under the previous State record of 1:57.87 set by Tatum Wade in 2017. Centennial’s Zoe Summar (2:02.18) and Brentwood’s Lauren Hurt (2:02.79) finished second and third, respectively.

Harpeth Hall continued their winning ways as Ophelia Pilkinton sprinted her way to the gold medal in the 50 free, stopping the clock in a swift 22.74 as the only athlete under the 23-second barrier. Girls Preparatory School’s Ellie Taliaferro raced to second in 23.40 and Gordon wound up third in 23.46.

Blackman’s Alexandra Andueza dove to first on the 1-meter board, posting a final score of 396.40 for the win. Second place went to Beardon’s Laurel Smith with 373.80 points and third belonged to Baylor School’s Haley Rice with a score of 351.85.

After posting a blazing anchor split on the 4×50 medley relay, G. Walsh flew to the top of the podium by just over two seconds in the 100 fly. Her time of 52.36 demolished the previous Tennessee state record of 53.64 set by Lauren Harrington back in 2011. Waldrep (54.32) and Harpeth Hall’s Alex Massey (54.82) rounded out the podium.

After snagging bronze in the 200 free, Chelsvig found herself on top of the podium in the 100 free after throwing down a time of 49.80. Pilkinton was also under the 50-second mark in 49.91 for second with Collierville’s Erin Milligan taking third in 50.65.

Addison Smith powered home to a win in the 500 free, racing to the wall in a new lifetime best of 4:46.11. Nelson dropped nearly 14 seconds from her prelims time to finish second in 4:48.87 and Independence’s Hannah Jyawook placed third in 4:53.04.

Harpeth Hall continued their winning ways as Pilkinton (23.14), Massey (23.46), Nelson (23.26) and G. Walsh (21.43) won the 4×50 free relay by three seconds in 1:31.29. Their time was just shy of the Tennessee state and National Independent High School record of 1:31.18 set by Baylor in 2012. Baylor took second in 1:34.33 and Brentwood was third in 1:37.33.

G. Walsh continued her stellar meet with a dominant performance in the 100 back. The sophomore’s time of 51.57, which currently would rank eighth in the NCAA, blasted her older sister’s Tennessee state record of 52.80 set in 2017. That time was just off Ally Howe’s National Independent High School record of 51.54. Waldrep (52.42) was also under the former state record but settled for second as Hurt took third in 55.38.

A. Walsh got her hands to the wall first in the 100 breast with a time of 59.08, a time that would sit in sixth in the NCAA top times so far this year. The junior still currently owns both the state record and National Independent High School mark at 58.88 set last season. Signal Mountain’s Cecilia Porter (1:01.26) and Sullivan South’s Haley Altman (1:03.22) rounded out the top three.

Harpeth Hall secured their team title as victors in the 4×100 free relay: Pilkinton (50.13), Lexi Stewart (55.16), Nelson (50.26) and A. Walsh (48.43) won in 3:23.98, slightly off their own state mark of 3:22.01. 3:29.16 was fast enough for Baylor to finish second and Hardin Valley Acamdey secured third in 3:32.66.

Notify of

Welcome to our community. We invite you to join our discussion. Our community guidelines are simple: be respectful and constructive, keep on topic, and support your fellow commenters. Commenting signifies that you agree to our Terms of Use

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x