2018 U.S. Nationals Day 5: Ledecky Opts Out of 1500 Free

2018 U.S. National Championships

The 2018 Phillips 66 National Championships in Irvine wraps up Sunday. On tap in the morning session will be heats of the women’s and men’s 200 IM and 50 free. The new-Olympic distance events (women’s 1500 free and men’s 800 free) will take place in the afternoon.

Katie Ledecky has scratched the 1500 free, having already qualified for 2018 Pan Pacific Championships in the 200, 400 and 800 freestyle events. Leah Smith, runner-up to Ledecky in the 400 and 800 free, will forgo the 1500, as well. That bumps Erica Sullivan up to top seed in the heat that swims in finals. Joining her will be Hannah Moore, Ashley Twichell, Haley Anderson, Ally McHugh, Ashley Neidigh, Sierra Schmidt, and Megan Byrnes. Sullivan and McHugh scratched Saturday’s 400 free to focus on the 1500.

Top-seeded Clark Smith will not swim the 800 free on Sunday. The Longhorn underwent a heart ablation procedure in March and while he has raced since, he finished 44th in prelims of the 400 free on Saturday. Stepping up to swim in lane 4 in the championship heat will be 400 free national champion Zane Grothe. Next to him will be Grant Shoults. The pair put on an exciting show in the final of the 400 free on Saturday, finishing 1-2 with a pair of 3:46s. Andrew Abruzzo, True Sweetser, Logan Houck, 1500 free national champion Jordan Wilimovsky, Robert Finke, and Chris Wieser will round out the fastest heat of 800s.

#8 seed Katie Drabot and #23 Kenisha Liu have scratched the 200 IM. Liu is also entered in the 50 free and will swim that instead. The circle-seeded heats of the women’s 50 free, led by top-seed Simone Manuel, are intact.

In the men’s 200 IM, Conor Dwyer is the only scratch out of the top-24. More notable, though, is the fact that Caeleb Dressel is entered in both the 200 IM and the 50 free. Number 1 seed in the 50 free, Dressel moves to 16th in the 200 IM in Dwyer’s absence. Michael Andrew, the #2 seed in the 50 free, did not enter the 200 IM. All top-24 seeds will be present for 50 free prelims.

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2 years ago

“The non-Olympic distance events (women’s 1500 free and men’s 800 free)”
I thought they are?

Love to Swim
Reply to  gii
2 years ago

They are.

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  gii
2 years ago

Author of article – please correct the phrase to reflect the now Olympic distance events. TYVM

Reply to  gii
2 years ago

It says NEW not non… it is all good…

Reply to  VURE
2 years ago

They might have fixed it. They fix things pretty quickly.

2 years ago

I was hoping they would both swim as part of their training for PanPacs

Reply to  JimSwim
2 years ago

Training for pan pacs has been done… this meet is part of taper for pan pacs

2 years ago

In 2014 the winner got to swim at worlds in 2015 (Katy Campbell), but since it is an Olympic event if Ledecky and Smith beat the winner’s time at Pan Pacs can they both swim it at worlds and bump the winner?

Reply to  Wow
2 years ago

Yes, the combined times from A finals at Nationals and top 16 at PanPacs determines the top 2 who get the swims at Worlds 2019

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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