Simone Manuel & Katie Ledecky Sweep Stanford To Its First NCAA Win Since 1998

Simone Manuel of the USA - by Patrick B. Kraemer

Olympic champions and podium places set the pace on the last night at the NCAA DI Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis, Indiana, Katie Ledecky and Simone Manuel claiming two more wins apiece, apart and then together in the concluding 4x100y free relay that sealed the meet in emphatic style for Stanford. There were also further wins for USA Olympic teamsters Lilly King and Kathleen Baker. It helps having the winners of the 100, 200, 400 and 800m free Olympic titles on your side. This was Stanford’s first win since 1998.

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While going from the duck pond of short course yards to summer long course swimming is always more reading the tea leaves than an exact conversion, there’s a lot of positive you can take away for the Americans for later on this year.

1. Ledecky is still atop her game, though hopefully she learns a bit of a lesson here on overswimming early in the race. It seems like she got a little ahead of herself in the 200 and 1650.

2. Leah Smith’s excellent 4:28 should not be overlooked amid the usual Ledecky accolades. Given how she’s tracked from spring to summer in the past, if she doesn’t go a 3:59 low at some point this summer, it will be a disappointment.

3. Simone Manuel is not a one meet wonder. Would love to see her go against a fully fit C1 this year.

4. Not sure how Comeford’s 200 will translate into the trials at the big pool, but she is definitely interesting. Like Texas A&M, Louisville often has a knack for finding talent and turning B level juniors into A level seniors.

5. Kathleen Baker presumably had a healthier winter training block this year and will hopefully have continued good results in 2017. Also good to see Katie McLaughlin starting to return to international elite form after the neck injury.

6. No matter what you think of her brashness, Lilly King continues to back up words with results.

And as someone who enjoys it when the good ones come from unexpected places, love seeing Farida Osman continue to progress and it would be great to see the Egyptian flag go up to the rafters for a minor medal at some point.

Craig Lord

I don’t disagree, beachmouse, but note that all bar one of your examples are proven forces in long-course metres. I think the trouble comes when folk take the efforts of swimmers never proven in l/c metres and assume they’re going to be breaking world records … rare.

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