After 400 IM Duel Katie Ledecky & Leah Smith Headline US Nats Time Trials on Day 4


After treating us to an epic battle in the women’s 400 IM on Day 3 of U.S. Nationals, neither Katie Ledecky nor Leah Smith raced any of Day 4’s events. However, they did each time-trials events; Ledecky swam the 200 fly, and Leah Smith the 100 breast.

Ledecky teased that she would swim “fun events” in Irvine, including time-trialing the 200 fly and 200 IM. On Day 4, she raced the 200 fly, which she described as her “best event when she was younger.”

She clocked 2:15.20 in her race. That’s actually a new best time for her; her previous best was 2:15.62, which she swam eight years ago at the 2014 Virginia State Championships. Ledecky took the race out fast, splitting 1:02.81 at the 100 turn. She paid for it on the way back; her second 100 split was a 1:12.39. Still, it’s a best time for Ledecky, who until last night hadn’t swum one since May 2018. Ledecky is expected to time-trial the 200 IM on Day 5.

In the 100 breast, Smith swam 1:11.10, a personal best by almost five seconds. Like Ledecky, her best time in this off-event had stood for a long time: she set her previous mark in 2015 at a Virginia Last Chance Meet. Smith was out in 32.99, and back in 38.11.

The third member of the 400 IM podium, Felicia Pasadyn, also time-trialed on Day 4, swimming the 400 free. Pasadyn hit the wall in 4:12.51, which would have qualified seventh for the final. Pasadyn is already training at Ohio State, where she’s a graduate transfer after finishing Harvard in three years. She’s having a great meet in Irvine, highlighted by her third-place in the 400 IM, but she also finaled in the 200 free and 200 back, hitting a lifetime best in the former. She swam a lifetime best here as well, dropping 8.41 seconds.

Other Notable Time Trials on Day 4

  • Matthew Jensen swam 1:01.95 in the 100 breast. The time is over a three second drop for him, and would have snuck into tonight’s ‘A’ final as the eighth seed.
  • Sandpiper of Nevada Ilya Kharun raced the 400 IM, hitting his entry time of 4:24.70 exactly.


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10 months ago

Way to go Felecia! Congrats on the bronze medal, great accomplishment!

10 months ago

Well, that went off like a lead balloon. I would have preferred Katie Ledecky time trial the women’s 100 meter freestyle instead.

10 months ago

KL was actually slow to the 100. To be elitist 2 flyer u gotta be 2:05. She needs to be out 1:00

10 months ago

VIdeo of Katie swimming the fly please

Reply to  KatieFan
10 months ago

It wasn’t pretty.

Reply to  MCH
10 months ago

It appears to have silenced all of the commenters who claimed that she would break 2:10.

Reply to  MCH
10 months ago

Katie Ledecky is better off swimming the women’s 100 meter freestyle.

Reply to  KatieFan
10 months ago

theres one in swimswams yt channel

Reply to  swimmer
10 months ago

Hali Flickinger has nothing to worry about.

About Sophie Kaufman

Sophie Kaufman

Sophie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, which means yes, she does root for the Bruins, but try not to hold that against her. At 9, she joined her local club team because her best friend convinced her it would be fun. Shoulder surgery ended her competitive swimming days long ago, …

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