Virginia’s Gretchen Walsh warms up for Olympics by setting 50-yard freestyle record at NCAA championships

Gretchen Walsh is dominating NCAA Swimming & Diving championships. (Photograph by Alex Slitz/Getty Photos)

College of Virginia junior Gretchen Walsh reminded everybody why she’s an Olympic favourite with a dominant efficiency on the NCAA Division I Ladies’s Swimming and Diving championships Thursday.

After breaking her personal collegiate, American and US Open report with a time of 20.41 seconds within the 50-yard freestyle prelims within the morning, Walsh adopted up with an excellent quicker time of 20.37 seconds within the finals for the win.

It was her fourth time breaking the report this season, since she made historical past twice on the ACC convention championships final month.

Walsh’s pace made up for her response instances to start out each races on the Jack Bauerle Pool in Athens, Georgia. She improved on her .76-second response time from prelims with a .75 in finals, and he or she was nonetheless the one competitor who took greater than .70 seconds to get out of the blocks. She additionally improved between races on the flip, recording a 9.88 within the finals after her 9.99 within the prelims.

The efficiency got here after Walsh set a report Wednesday, swimming the primary leg of Virginia’s 200-yard medley in 22.10 seconds, the quickest relay cut up ever recorded within the occasion.

Jasmine Nocentini, Carly Novelline and Maxine Parker turned of their legs to complete with a 1:31.58 for the championship title. It was almost two seconds quicker than each competitor that day. They nearly broke UVA’s program report within the occasion however they have been seven-hundredths of a second shy.

Walsh sisters energy UVA’s swimming dynasty

Virginia is in rivalry for its fourth consecutive nationwide crew title, due to the Walsh sisters. Minutes separated Gretchen’s win within the 50-yard free from her older sister Alex’s victory within the 200-yard particular person medley.

Alex, a senior at Virginia and an Olympic gold medalist, gained her third nationwide tile within the occasion with a 1:49.20. It was the second quickest time in this system’s historical past.

Hours later, Alex and Gretchen mixed to push the Cavaliers to the title within the 200-yard free relay.

This has been the norm for the Walsh sisters since Alex dedicated to Virginia in January 2019. Gretchen adopted in her footsteps a 12 months later, they usually each boast loads of accolades and all-time data on their All-American rΓ©sumΓ©s.

Alex earned her Olympic medal on the Tokyo Video games in 2021, taking residence silver after the 200-meter particular person medley. Gretchen earned gold within the 100 medley relay at 2023 World Aquatics Championships and he or she is now poised to earn an Olympic medal of her personal in Paris this summer time. Each siblings are projected to qualify for the USA Olympic crew, which is led by Cavaliers head coach Todd DeSorbo.

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