“Absolutely Cannot Say That”: Swimming Community Divided Over Heated Gretchen Walsh vs Leon Marchand Debate Post NCAA Championships

Published 04/01/2024, 11:15 AM EDT

Follow Us

Apparently, there’s a division between Team Gretchen Walsh and Team Leon Marchand. While both the duo have lit up the swimming pools of the US, banters on social media are comparing the two young swimming sensations and people are even picking sides. While Walsh has been smashing NCAA records in the female category, Marchand, who recently broke the 200 Breast record in the NCAA men’s division has done the same. 

Marchand also broke Michael Phelps’ 400m IM record by clocking 4:02.50 in 2023. Representing Arizona State and the University of Virginia respectively, the accomplishments of both Walsh and Gretchen are surely a cynical sight for the swimming community to behold. 

Gretchen Walsh v Leon Marchand: The Comparison


Article continues below this ad

A recent tweet began the proceedings where it was stated that Leon Marchand had a relatively better season than Gretchen Walsh. Walsh had created history by clocking a sub-20 in the 50 free category. Her time stood at 19.95s. On the contrary, Marchand had a decent run to clock 22.27s in the 50-breast category back in 2023. 

Although both the records were impressive, the uncalled comparison irked Team Gretchen. Soon after the post went viral, another account by the name of Bromine Zaddy reposted the tweet giving a detailed breakdown of how Gretchen Walsh had the better of Leon Marchand. He compared the duo by stating that Walsh had 7 championships compared to Marchand’s 5, more relay splits(3), and also smashed a couple more NCAA records(6) than Marchand has (4). 


Get instantly notified of the hottest Swimming stories via Google! Click on Follow Us and Tap the Blue Star.

Follow Us

The post then went on to further compare the duo on performance margins, at the end of which, it concluded Walsh’s supremacy over Marchand. However, a lot of fans had differing opinions and thus, the comment box soon became an online battlefield. 

Walsh vs Marchand: The Debate

The post garnered 4.5k views at the time of writing the article. Several fans came up with opinions and debates favoring either Walsh or Marchand. Let’s take a look at some of them. One X user sharing a personal opinion wrote-

Another fan was not eager to consider team relay victories to compare Gretchen and Leon from an individual aspect. 

Replying to them, the other user commented, “What’s your metric for determining Marchand is a better SCY swimmer?.” 


Article continues below this ad

“I mean you can’t not mention the 4IM. While Walsh is still better discounting Leon’s most dominant event feels odd, he’s 1.93% clear of 2nd”, added another swimming world enthusiast.


Article continues below this ad

Thus, with the adrenaline in fans running high, kudos to Gretchen Walsh and Leon Marchand for igniting such a high amount of enthusiasm for NCAA swimming. 

Continue to Read: Leon Marchand’s NCAA “Off the Walls” Record Has Got Him US Olympian Caeleb Dressel Comparisons Ahead of Paris Olympics


Written by:

Disita Sikdar


One take at a time

Disita is a writer at EssentiallySports, capturing viral moments in the sporting world. Her coverage includes prominent figures like Mathieu Van der Poel and Jonas Vingegaard in cycling. She also aces at live coverages of MotoGP events.
Show More>

Edited by:

Sampurna Pal