For Young Swimmer Walsh, Ecstasy Followed By Brief Agony At Trials

  Gretchen (l) and Alex Walsh in front of the huge Katie Ledecky mural outside the site of the 2016 Olympic swim trials.  (Photo courtesy Walsh family)

Gretchen (l) and Alex Walsh in front of the huge Katie Ledecky mural outside the site of the 2016 Olympic swim trials.  (Photo courtesy Walsh family)

OMAHA, Neb. – The draw for Monday morning’s first round of the 100-meter backstroke at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Swimming put Alex Walsh two lanes from Missy Franklin in the 15th of 16 heats.

Walsh could not have been happier.

“She’s one of my biggest idols because she’s always so positive,” Walsh said of Franklin, reigning Olympic champion in the event. “I was ecstatic.”

It got even better when Franklin asked the 14-year-old Walsh for help with her swim cap before heading to the pool deck for the race.

“That was pretty great,” Walsh said. 

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