2018 U.S. Winter Nationals: Day 1 Distance Live Recap


The opening session of the 2018 U.S. Winter National Championships is set to get underway from Greensboro, with only the women’s and men’s 800 freestyle on tap for tonight. The heats will alternate between women’s and men’s, with the fastest seeded heats swimming first.

This event marks the first competition where swimmers are eligible to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Trials, and is the first time since 2015 the meet has been contested long course metres.

World record holder Katie Ledecky highlights the women’s 800 field, and reigning 5k open water world champ Ashley Twichell and rising distance/open water star Erica Sullivan join her with seeds under 8:30.

On the men’s side, Jordan Wilimovsky is the top seed by over nine seconds in 7:45.19, coming off winning silver in the event at the Pan Pacific Championships (in addition to gold in the 1500 and 10k open water).

Women’s 800 Freestyle Timed Final

  • 2020 Olympic Trial Cut: 8:48.09
  1. Katie Ledecky, NCAP, 8:14.40
  2. Ashley Twichell, TAC, 8:28.16
  3. Erica Sullivan, SAND, 8:29.02

To no surprise Katie Ledecky led the first heat of the women’s 800 free wire-to-wire to win by almost 14 seconds in 8:14.40, negative-splitting the race 4:07.27/4:07.13. This is her 20th fastest swim ever, and makes her the first swimmer to hit a 2020 Olympic Trials cut.

Ashley Twichell had the 2nd fastest swim of her career to take 2nd, clocking 8:28.16, and Erica Sullivan had her 3rd fastest performance ever for 3rd in 8:29.02.

Along with those three, Kaersten Meitz (8:37.11), Chase Travis (8:38.84) and Emma Weyant (8:41.30) also made the Trials cut (8:48.09) from heat 1.

15-year-old Paige McKenna (8:46.76) put herself into 8th overall and under the Trials standard from the second fastest heat.

Men’s 800 Freestyle Timed Final

  • 2020 Olympic Trial Cut: 8:12.99
  1. Jordan Wilimovsky, TSM, 7:56.88
  2. Brennan Gravley, SAND, 8:09.95
  3. Ross Dant, YSST, 8:10.99

Jordan Wilimovsky of Team Santa Monica was the lone man to break eight minutes as he won easily in 7:56.88, his 3rd fastest swim ever only trailing his performances this summer at Pan Pacs and US Nationals.

18-year-old Brennan Gravley chopped four-tenths off his best time to take 2nd in 8:09.95, while 17-year-old Ross Dant (8:10.99) and 16-year-old Lleyton Plattel (8:12.02) also got under the Trials cut of 8:12.99.

In the second fastest heat, Dare Rose (8:12.36), Calvin David (8:12.56) and Gordon Mason (8:12.87) also got under the cut.

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1 year ago

If to believe Usaswimming database that was Ledecky’s 21st fastest race in 800 event. 21th fastest time in history of this event belongs to Rebecca Adlington. Still impressive. Other swimmers in the world can kill to swim that fast.

Daddy Dant Admirer
1 year ago


1 year ago

Looks like she didn’t try to go out in 402 or 403 which would have been too fast at this point of the season

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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