While Walsh easily could swim in college, he long ago answered a different call. Baseball is his sole athletic focus ninth months of the year. While his competitors are swimming club year-round, Walsh is traveling the country playing baseball during the summer and fall.
“I actually think that I might be a little bit better at swimming, but I’ve always loved baseball,” Walsh said. “I have to carve out a big chunk of time for baseball because that’s the sport I want to take up at the next level.
“With that being said, I still get about a month of training in before the swimming season and for these two months I lock it down and go into swim mode.”
Don’t be surprised if Walsh takes home four more medals from this weekend’s state meet at New Trier. He had the third-fastest sectional time in the 50 and the Lions are ranked first in both the relays he is on.
Since most of the Lions will be making their state meet debuts, they will rely heavily on Walsh.
“He was such a big part of those two state titles and the runner-up,” Rodriguez said. “He knows the intensity that it takes at these big meets and he’s kind of led the boys to be held to those high expectations throughout this whole year and leading them with the confidence that he’s gained from the past few years as well.”
Rodriguez said Walsh’s two-sport success stems from his will to win and competitive spirit.
Walsh agrees that’s what sustains him, especially in an individualized sport as swimming.
“I’ve always loved the aspect of racing,” Walsh said. “That’s my favorite part of swimming and that’s what’s kept me going and kept the fire lit in my belly through these last couple years.”
Ultimately, Walsh is not doing it only for himself.
“The competing aspect is a big aspect of how I’m able to go out there and do what I’m able to do what I do,” Walsh said. “But also just knowing that I’m swimming for my family, my friends, my brothers on the sidelines and the swimmers who have come before me as well as my school, that’s what gets me going.”