2018 Swammy Awards: U.S. Female Swimmer of the Year Katie Ledecky

To see all of our 2018 Swammy Awards presented by TYR, click here. 

2018 U.S. FEMALE SWIMMER OF THE YEAR: KATIE LEDECKY

Katie Ledecky remains unbeaten in the distance freestyle races at major international competitions and continued to break records in 2018. Ledecky, who went pro following the NCAA season, broke the World Record in the women’s 1500 free this year, posting a 15:20.48 at the Indianapolis Pro Swim. That was one of many victories for Ledecky as she was crowned the female champion of the 2018 TYR Pro Swim Series.

At the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships, Ledecky broke her own Pan Pacs Meet Record with an 8:09.13 in the 800 free. She defended her titles in the 800 free, 400 free, and 1500 free. In addition to her individual hardware, she also earned a bronze medal in the 200 free, which came shortly after her 800 free, and a silver medal as the anchor of the USA’s 800 free relay.

During the NCAA season, Ledecky set an American Record in the 400 IM at the Pac-12 Championships (though that record was later broken by Ella Eastin). She went on to repeat as NCAA champion in the 500 free and 1650 free.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

In no particular order

  • Lilly King– Olympic champion King swam to a Pan Pacs title in the 100 breast and earned silver in the 200 breast. SHe also helped the USA’s 400 medley relay to a silver. King cemented a threepeat in both breaststroke races at the 2018 NCAA Championships, breaking her own American Records in both as well.
  • Kathleen Baker– 2018 saw newly-minted pro Baker set a World Record in the 100 back with her 58.00 at U.S. Nationals. She also took down the U.S. Open Record in the 200 IM in Irvine. Following that meet, Baker took gold in the 200 back and bronze in the 100 back at Pan Pacs individually and earned 2 relay medals (mixed 400 medley bronze, women’s 400 medley silver). During the NCAA season, Baker won the 200 back with a new American Record.

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tea rex
2 years ago

Olivia Smoliga and Kelsi Worrell – not as impressive as it sounds, but 8 scm world medals plus American Records have to be worth an Honorable Mention. They carried the team this December. Every bit as impressive as King, in my opinion.

Markster
Reply to  tea rex
2 years ago

Short Course Worlds is a training meet. Only LCM counts

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Markster
2 years ago

It was not only a training meet as u put it – but a serious stepstone for many of them leading to next year WC & Tokyo . Otherwise , they would have not performed the way they did .

Jambo Sana
2 years ago

Those Chinese girls are coming hard for Ledecky in 2020. Females distance swimmers have traditionally peaked pretty early so Ledecky will have some head winds.

Torchbearer
Reply to  Jambo Sana
2 years ago

Plus Titmus…..

Hswimmer
Reply to  Jambo Sana
2 years ago

Yes, Titmus will be Ledecky’s biggest challenger. The Chinese aren’t as consistent in big competitions im sure Titmus will give ledecky a run for her money in the 400

carlo
Reply to  Hswimmer
2 years ago

Wang jianjiahe is very consistent.

Li bingjie is not consistent.

Some people saying the Chinese girls will challenge Katie ledecky?
There,s only one Chinese girl, not girls, and that,s Wang jianjiahe

RSPC
Reply to  Jambo Sana
2 years ago

Habari gani

marklewis
2 years ago

Katie always takes her races out fast, her competition is left eating her bubbles.

A. Titmus looks like a possible contender, as she swam at Katie’s pace for the 2nd half of the 400 free race at Pan Pacs. Titmus closed the gap a little on the last lap.

Wannabe Thorpe
2 years ago

We really take her for granted

Mikeh
2 years ago

Unless Ledecky changes her training, she will be beaten in both the 200 and 400 at the next Olympics. She is the greatest distance swimmer of all time, but her college coaches have not figured out how to help her go faster, for the most part.

TAK
Reply to  Mikeh
2 years ago

I question if the training and environment that worked for her when she was younger would work for her now. As people mature their training and environmental needs evolve.

Collins
Reply to  Mikeh
2 years ago

Yes, the 11 American Records broken and the World Record broken by five seconds this year (not to mention 8 NCAA titles, 15 NCAA records, 6 NCAA meet records, and 8 international gold medals) thus far during her collegiate training sure reveal Ledecky’s college coaches to be charlatans, for the most part.

Wannabe Thorpe
Reply to  Collins
2 years ago

Nobody said that, but her success in scy can’t really be accredited to her coaches, it’s not as if she swam 8:04 in the 800 free before.

He said what?
2 years ago

I know it is Katie’s life and decision, but how about a move back to Bruce Gemmell? They had a special athlete/coach relationship and he seemed to have a good handle on Katie’s speed/endurance training. In the end, though, it is Katie’s choice where she lives and trains.

Mikeh
Reply to  He said what?
2 years ago

Of course it’s her choice. But you’re right anyway.

Klorn8d
Reply to  He said what?
2 years ago

I mean she’s also in school at Stanford, don’t really wanna leave that probably.

Barney
Reply to  He said what?
2 years ago

She also went 52.7 or something close to that on the relay in Rio. She hasn’t been even close to that since.

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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