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.