Alex Walsh looks on prior to competing in the women's 200 meter individual medley final at the Phillips 66 International Team Trials on April 30, 2022 in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Alex Walsh wasn’t sure what to expect in the finals of the women’s 200-meter individual medley on Saturday night. The Olympian just wanted to focus on herself, and when she touched the wall, the 20-year-old from Nashville, Tennessee, was surprised with how fast she swam.
On the fifth and final day of the Phillips 66 International Team Trials, Walsh won the women’s 200 IM in 2 minutes, 7.84 seconds to set the U.S. Open record, marking the fastest time ever on U.S. soil.
She jumped out to an early lead inside the Greensboro Aquatic Center on her way to breaking the previous U.S. Open record of 2:08.32 set by Kathleen Baker in 2018.
“I didn’t know I had a 2:07 in me at this meet, so (I) really couldn’t have been happier with how I swam it,” said Walsh, a sophomore at Virginia. “And I think I’m definitely just becoming more confident in myself in that race and learning how to close it really well just because last summer I would really fade in the last 15 meters.
“So I’m really happy with how my endurance is looking.”
Walsh’s time on Saturday was faster than the 2:08:52 that Japan’s Yui Ohashi swam at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 to win the gold medal in the women’s 200 IM. Walsh took the silver after finishing that race in 2:08.65.
With her record-breaking performance in Greensboro, Walsh secured her spot at this summer’s 2022 FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. USA Swimming officially named the 41 qualifiers after the competition.