Late on Friday night, at the United States Aquatic Sports Convention in Anaheim, California, young Katie Ledecky won the 2013 Phillips 66 Performance Award for her swim in the 1500 freestyle at the World Championships.
In an award where USA Swimming reached out to the media for informal input into the nomination and voting process, Ledecky came out as the winner for the 2nd-straight year. In 2012, she won it for her Olympic gold in the 800 free, and in this year, her 1500 freestyle win at the World Championships was an obvious choice.
This, really and truly, was the race of the year if not the decade. Ledecky swam a 15:36.53, which broke the World Record by 6 seconds. Runner-up Lotte Friis from Denmark, who now trains in Ledecky’s neighborhood at North Baltimore also broke the World Record easily in 15:38.88 -four seconds faster than the old World Record of 15:42.54 from Kate Ziegler. Heck, third-place finisher Lauren Boyle was a 15:44.71 – which would’ve been the #2 time in history before that race.
And the reality is that if Ledecky’s 1500 wasn’t the winner, then her 800, also a World Record, probably would have been.