2018 W. NCAAs: Ella Eastin Goes 3:54.60 to Obliterate 400 IM American Record


The back-and-forth between Katie Ledecky and Ella Eastin over the last two years has been epic, with Ledecky first setting the American record in 3:57.68 at the 2017 Pac-12 Championships. Eastin quickly countered that with a 3:57.57 at the 2017 NCAA Championships, and Ledecky dropped the mark to 3:56.53 last month at Pac-12s.

Friday, Ella Eastin obliterated the record, going 3:54.60. She split 54.80/58.75/1:06.57/54.58, taking a slight lead after backstroke and never looking back. Her previous best was 3:57 57.

Katie Ledecky took second, splitting 54.55/59.58/1:09.99/54.17 for a final time of 3:58.29 — the 10th fastest swim of all-time, knocking Elizabeth Beisel off the list. Sydney Pickrem took 3rd in 3:59.05, remaining the #8 performer of all time. Stanford’s Brook Forde took 4th in 3:59.34, becoming the #9 performer of all time. Five of the top nine performers are from Stanford.

Eastin, who already set the 200 IM American record Thursday (1:50.67), bests Ledecky’s previous mark by nearly two seconds, becoming the #1 performer of all time. She is the only woman to break 3:56 or 3:55.

Swimmer 100 Fly Split 100 Back Split 100 Breast Split 100 Free Split Final Time
Ella Eastin (2018 NCAAs) 54.8 58.75 1:06.57 54.58 3:54.60
Katie Ledecky (2017 Pac-12s) 54.75 59.29 1:09.43 53.06 3:56.53

Top 10 All-Time Performances: Women’s 400 IM

  1. Ella Eastin 3:54.60
  2. Katie Ledecky 3:56.53
  3. Katinka Hosszu 3:56.54
  4. Ella Eastin 3:57.32
  5. Ella Eastin 3:57.57
  6. Katie Ledecky 3:57.68
  7. Caitlin Leverenz 3:57.89
  8. Maya DiRado 3:58.12
  9. Julia Smith 3:58.23
  10. Katie Ledecky 3:58.29

Top 10 All-Time Performers: Women’s 400 IM

  1. Ella Eastin 3:54.60
  2. Katie Ledecky 3:56.53
  3. Katinka Hosszu 3:56.54
  4. Caitlin Leverenz 3:57.89
  5. Maya DiRado 3:58.12
  6. Julia Smit 3:58.23
  7. Elizabeth Beisel 3:58.35
  8. Sydney Pickrem 3:59.05
  9. Brooke Forde 3:59.34
  10. Melanie Margalis 3:59.85

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The Grand inquisitor

Brooke Forde now #9 with 3;59.34 tonight. 5 out of top 9 are Stanford swimmers.


What Ella just did to the AR/NCAA record should be criminal. Just ?. And now I feel foolish for doubting her here.


She is by far one of the most versatile swimmers ever


Tracy Caulkins would disagree.


Sorry, thought SWIMFAN said “the” instead of “one of the.”

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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