Share this article

USA Swimming Insider Claps for Gretchen Walsh as She Upsets 100M Butterfly World Record With a Strange Twist

Published 11/17/2023, 10:53 PM EST

Follow Us

The swimming community has seen multiple stellar athletes and one name in it is of Gretchen Walsh. She is an American swimmer with applaudable achievements. She is a 3x individual NCAA champion and NCAA record holder as a part of the 200 free, 400 free, 200 medley, and 400 medley relays with Virginia. This talented swimmer clinched six gold medals at the 2019 World Junior Championships. Since then, she has not stopped yet.

America’s Favorite Video Today

Walsh gave another commendable performance in the 100m freestyle and pushed herself to the top positions. With this performance, she beautifully surpassed the record created by Maggie Macneil. The swimming community is stunned after witnessing this beautiful performance. However, this probably will not go into the records book for a bizarre reason.

A butterfly record, but in the freestyle event


Article continues below this ad

The delivery of extraordinary performance by Walsh has been beautifully consistent this year. She once again took the swimming community by surprise by completing the 100m freestyle by clocking a time of 48.30 at the 2023 Tennessee Invitational. She started from lane 8 and attained the position of 2nd overall. However, she completed the freestyle race by swimming butterfly and completed the race at a time of 48.30. Referring to the unprecedented situation, Kyle Sockwell,  a US swimming insider, took to X and spoke in favor of Walsh. Sockwell wrote, “Gretchen Walsh just went 48.30 in the 100 freestyle…but she swam it butterfly. Which means I have no idea if it counts as an NCAA record, but is also the fastest in history. So. You know what. It counts. It counts and I don’t care what anyone says.”

With this time, she became the fastest woman in the 100-yard butterfly surpassing her former teammate Kate Douglas’ American and NCAA record by 0.16 seconds. In comparison to Douglas, Walsh started the race 0.1 seconds later but still ended up cutting the water like a bullet and touched the wall 0.26 seconds faster.


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

Follow Us

Not just this, she also surpassed the world record set by the Canadian swimmer Maggie Macneil of 54.05 which was created in the FINA World Championships 2022. However, this will not be added to the staunch record list of Gretchen. Considering the USA swimming rule 102.23.1A2, since the butterfly was done in a 100m freestyle heat, it is unlikely to go in the records book.

According to the swimming rules, an official time for an event or a stroke can only be achieved in that event or stroke. However, there is a possibility that this can go as a NCAA record, as its rulebook does not officially carry this situation.

Gretchen Walsh’s overall performance in the swimming realm 


Article continues below this ad

Gretchen Walsh started her journey when she was just 12 years old and she started breaking records right away. This 20-year-old swimmer has grabbed multiple opportunities and has attained spectacular achievements. She holds two world junior records in mixed-gender relay events and American records in mixed-gender relay events.

Canada Captures Gold in Women’s 4x100M Freestyle Relay

With this, she also has made American records in the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard backstroke, 4×50-yard freestyle relay, and multiple more. Walsh was also the youngest swimmer to compete at the Olympic Trials when she was just 13 years old.


Article continues below this ad

In the 2023 NCAA Championships, her 6 gold medals came in 4×50 yards medley, 4×50 yards freestyle, 100yd backstroke, 4×100 yards medley, 100 yards freestyle, and in the 4×100 yards freestyle events. She also won a silver in the 50-yard freestyle.

Watch this story: Michael Phelps Throws Playful Jab at Big Papi With a Swimming Challenge: ‘How Much of a Head Start’

Providing feedback will help us make your experience better.

The Fan's Perspective

Enjoyed Your Read? Let us know how likely you are to recommend EssentiallySports to your friends!

Least Likely

Most Likely



Written by:

Nancy Singh


One take at a time

Hello there! I am Nancy Singh. I am a passionate sports enthusiast and a keen spectator of all things Olympics. My writing journey has been deeply influenced by the remarkable achievements of athletes like Mikaela Shiffrin and Kaylee McKeown, whose dedication and excellence serve as a constant source of inspiration for me.
Show More>

Edited by: