Katie Ledecky takes Down U.S. 400y IM Mark, Gets Pipped By Simone Manuel In 200y Free

Katie Ledecky (USA) -by Patrick B. Kraemer

The race was medley but freestyle is where it was at for the Olympic 200, 400 and 800m freestyle champion. Katie Ledecky shadowed Stanford teammate Ella Eastin all the way to the 300-yard mark of the 400 medley at Pac-12 championships at Federal Way before firing her cannon: 52.67 last 100, for 3:57.68 victory that took out the American record that had stood at 3:57.89 to Cal’s Caitlin Leverenz since 2012. Ledecky was back in the fray soon after, battling Stanford teammate Simone Manuel, both on 1:40s in the 200y free, Manuel the winner, Stanford with two sweeps on its account

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That’s a significant IM from Ledecky, and she was able to keep pace on back and breast with the rest of the field. With the long term aim being Tokyo, she has to be very happy with that swim. Given her weakness on back and breast especially, I didn’t expect to see her name beside the American record. Now, what does it all equate to on LC?

Craig Lord

Yes, interesting to see where she goes with it… if she’s within 3m of anyone going into freestyle in peak form in a big 400Im, she’d probably have a great shot…


A really good turns/walls swimmer like Ledecky can ‘hide’ a weak stroke in short course IMs far better than they can when the pool lane lines are reset to long course meters. Still, we all know by now to never underestimate her immense talent.

At the very least, the extra IM training doesn’t seem to be having a negative impact on her freestyle and that kind of variety can help encourage better engagement and less boredom in the training pool.

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