Tennessee freshman Ellen Walshe hits 50.24,100 flies

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Disclaimer: The Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection for the Best Overall Swim of the Week, but rather a Featured Swim to explore in more detail. The swim of the week is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others did the trick. one of the papers, or one race that we couldn’t review. also closely in the flow of weekly meetings.

Last weekend, the NCAA’s first round of invitations saw a number of notable first year international performances.

native french Leon Marchand put on an incredible display for Arizona State at the NC State Invitational, as did Russia Andrei Minakov for the Cardinal of Stanford.

Both swimmers were well-known offspring before entering college, with Minakov winning an individual silver medal at the 2019 World Championships in the men’s 100 butterfly, while Marchand was a finalist in the men’s 400 IM at the Tokyo Olympics. (ranking sixth).

But an international first year that raised eyebrows with its performances last weekend was that of Tennessee Ellen walshe, a native Irish woman who really made her presence felt at the invitation of the House of Flights in Knoxville.

Walshe’s highlight came in the women’s 100 butterfly, where she became the second-fastest all-time rookie en route to victory in 50.24.

Only the Michigan one Maggie MacNeil, who is now the fastest swimmer of all time, was fastest in her freshman year of college at 49.59, and Walshe still has the SEC and NCAA Championships ahead.

Walshe’s time was also faster than what Torri Huske, the # 1 ranked national rookie in this year’s freshman class, swam in the NC State Invite (50.30). Huske notably became the US record holder in the long-course version of the women’s 100 butterfly this summer, placing fourth at the Olympics, 0.01 outside of a medal. While one cannot underestimate how different LCM and SCY are, Walshe was 24th at the Games, more than three and a half seconds slower than Huske.

All that really tells us is how far Walshe went to the yards. With another round of college invitations to come, including the MacNeil race in Minnesota, Walshe leads the NCAA in the 100 butterfly this season, with Huske the only swimmer within a second of her. It is important to note that Virginia Kate douglass, an NCAA finalist last season, did not make the event at the Tennessee Invite, but Walshe was still on fire. And not just in the 100 fly.

Walshe also placed second behind Douglass in the women’s 200 IM (1: 54.77), second behind UVA Alex walsh in the 200 butterfly (1: 53.96), and even set the fastest 400 IM qualifying time in 4: 06.07 before advancing to the final.

Walshe, 20, also proved she can be a valuable relay asset, leading the Tennessee “B” 800 freestyle relay in 1: 44.63, the second fastest lead of the entire field, including those who had exchanges, and for a while this would have won the free individual 200 at the invitation.

The Dublin native added relay times of 22.90 and 51.08 in the 50 and 100 butterfly, as well as a 48.70 lead in the 400 freestyle relay.

The ‘swim of the week’ honor goes to Walshe’s 100 fly, but her performance overall this past weekend was truly a breakthrough, and it will be exciting to see what she can do in February and March.


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