February Sports Star of the Month: Ellen Walshe
TEMPLEOGUE’S Ellen Walshe certainly announced her arrival at University of Tennessee with a dominant performance at last month’s SEC Swimming & Diving Championships staged in Jones Aquatics Centre in Knoxville.
Winning no less than seven medals, including four gold, she was declared the SEC Swimmer of the Meet.
Walshe clocked a school-record time of 4:01.53 on her way to the 400m IM title – a performance that went down as the fastest ever achieved by a freshman in SEC history and the seventh-quickest by a freshman in NCAA history.
A second gold medal in the 100m Butterfly followed, after which she made it a clean sweep of individual titles with a win in the 200m IM, clocking the second-fastest time in programme history when she finished in 1:52.97.
The first ever competitor to top the podium in those three events at the same SEC Championship meet, Walshe became one of only three Lady Vols swimmers to card an individual treble at a single SEC Championship and the first freshman ever to record such a feat.
The medals continued to roll in for Walshe and Tennessee in the 800m Freestyle, 400m Medley, the 200m Medley and 400m Freestyle relays.