Ledecky and Franklin Both Break NAG Records in Women’s 200 Free Final at Winter Nationals

A pair of national-level records went down in the same final in the women’s 200 yard freestyle final on Friday night at the 2013 USA Swimming Winter National Championships.

16-year old NCAP swimmer Katie Ledecky broke the 15-16 National Age Group Record with a 1:42.03, and 18-year old Cal freshman Missy Franklin, the World Champion in long course, swam a 1:41.40 to break the Winter Nationals and 17-18 NAG Records. The yards record books for 15-16′s went totally untouched by Franklin (though the meters lists couldn’t say the same thing), and Knutson in 2008 was a 1:42.81 in that race.

This was a big move for Ledecky, but not an unexpected one after she really expanded her repertoire over the summer down into the 400 and further into the 200 free. Ledecky’s best time coming into this meet was a 1:42.96 from February of this year at the Metro Champs (a high school meet). If she swims the 200 free again at that meet, we could see her time go even lower, as her 500 time earlier in the meet indicates that she’s not at a full taper here.

Meanwhile, Franklin broke the Winter Nationals Record to win the race in 1:41.40. Again, everyone we’ve spoken to in the Franklin camp says that Franklin isn’t anything resembling rested, which means the last two-tenths she needs to break the American Record are as good-as-gone come NCAA’s. The old Winter Nationals Record belonged to her fellow Cal Golden Bear Dana Vollmer, who was a 1:42.36 at this meet in 2009.

The old 17-18 NAG Record in the 200 yard free was Franklin’s; she was a 1:41.18 earlier in 2013.

This duo will make the American 800 free relay hard to beat internationally for a long, long time.

The full meet recap is available here.


  1. coco says:

    Yeah for missy and Katie… Fabulous time…cal swimmers are not even rested or tapered… 2 incredible wins for missy…don’t forget that.

  2. Swimfan says:

    My prediction: Ledecky will break AR at high school meet, and missy will respond at NCAAs. A great rivalry

  3. bobo gigi says:

    Imagine if Allison Schmitt is back at her best, USA will have 3 girls in 1.54 for it’s 4X200 free relay. Crazy!

    • aswimfan says:

      Yeah… other countries would be happy if they can win silver in w4x200 behind USA in the next 4 to 8 years.

      The current greatest competitors for Schmitt, Franklin and Ledecky in the 200 free are maybe going into the last few years of their swimming career: Federica Pellegrini and Cammile Muffat.
      I want Muffat to be back to her best, which I think is more mental. And I want her to have great confidence as I love watching her beautiful strokes.

      The americans’ other young (sort of) competitors in the next few years are probably Sjoestroem (she’s still 20 and I think she can still get faster in the 200) and quite possibly Australia’s Emma McKeon and France’s Charlotte Bonnet if these teenagers can develop further. There bounds to be one or two chinese in the mix, but with them it’s more unpredictable.

      Next year’s US nationals will be very interesting because it also serves as selection for 2015 worlds, and it is quite clear that Ledecky will want to swim individual 200 in Kazan before tackling 200-400-800 in Rio. If Schmitt is back to her best , the w200 race final will be awesome with Schmitt, Ledecky and Missy fighting to be in the top two.

      • bobo gigi says:

        I believe very much in Charlotte Bonnet. She has the talent to win a medal in 2016.

        • aswimfan says:

          Bobo, who coaches Bonnet and who’s she training with? It’s fun to follow a young swimmer’s journey and development before they make big or go superstardom, although truly great legends did not leave us much time to follow their early career before they go supernova.

      • DanishSwimFan says:

        This is very scary for the rest of the world, and could be a great rivalry for the next few years, both such great swimmers. Americans, you are so fortunate :-)

      • ERVINFORTHEWIN says:

        Totally agree with u ASWIMFAN . It’s a scrarry talented field Usa has got right now ofr the 200 free + 800 free relay . I beleive they can finally break that relay WR owned by the Chinese women. By 2015 , that WR is off the books .
        I see the same thing for backstroke on Usa ‘s side . The field is just scarry right now as results come down from all the meets .

  4. aswimfan says:

    Missy Franklin possesses that most innate characteristic of a great champion: the super competitive and extremely strong drive to win and very strong mentality. This is all despite her bubbly easy going personality, which makes her even more lethal.

    It’s crazy to think that she still very likely have two more olympics, which will give her the opportunity to establish herself as the greatest female swimmer of all time, if she wins either/both 100 or 200 back three times in a row and pick up golds in 200 free and medals in 100 free in the next two olympics.


      I don’t see what can prevent her from becoming the most decorated & greatest female swimmer of all time . M Phelps & Missy on the same hall of fame for the greatest of all time is a pretty sweet picture .

  5. bobo gigi says:

    Video here. Go to day 2 finals. The race is at 1h44.

  6. Swimfan says:

    Find it hard to believe that Cal isn’t rested.

  7. Jack says:

    The US women are in a dominant position in the 4x200m Relay, that is no doubt. I personally feel Schmitt may not get back to her 2012 form, but I see a real possibility of the US relay have a 1.54, 2 1.55s and a 1.56 for next year, after that I would rather not predict, we have seen many super talented young ladies come and go in recent years (Knutson, Hoff etc). There is not a really credible threat, the Australian team will probably always be topping out between 7.45-7.48. Similarly to the French. The Chinese should be able to match that, but only on paper. Who else is there? Hungary? too reliant on one swimmer. Canada? All good, no superstar. Britain? Again, all good, no superstars anymore.

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