arena Swim of the Week: Katie Ledecky Drops 9:15 1000 Free At UF Intrasquad

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Disclaimer: Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The Swim of the Week is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.

The University of Florida hosted an intrasquad meet last Saturday after their meet with Texas A&M was canceled due to COVID-19, and it produced some high-end results, most notably from seven-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky.

Ledecky, who announced that she was making the move to Gainesville in September after five years at Stanford, produced a blistering time of 9:15.18 in the women’s 1000 freestyle, which stands up as the 12th fastest performance of all-time in the event.

The 24-year-old owns 10 out of the 11 swims that have been faster in history, with Katie Hoff the only other swimmer to have been sub-9:17 after clocking 9:10.77 back in 2007.

The 1000 free isn’t contested at the Division I NCAA Championships, so it’s difficult to know exactly what Ledecky would be capable of in the event at the height of her powers, but her American Record stands at 8:59.65 from the 2015 NCAP Invitational.

So while it’s still far off her PB, Ledecky’s time is certainly elite, especially given the fact that she’s no doubt coming off of (or in the midst of) a pretty significant training block.

For context, when she set the NCAA, American and U.S. Open Record in the 1650 free of 15:03.31 at the 2017 Art Adamson Invitational, Ledecky opened up the first 1000 in 9:09.34. Her second-fastest 1000 on record was done opening up the mile at the 2017 NCAAs, where she flipped in 9:06.90 before finishing in a time of 15:07.70.

In the NCAA, while the majority of leading times are from swimmers’ opening splits on the way to a 1650, Ledecky would lead the 2021-22 rankings by 15 seconds.

Ledecky also clocked 4:08.27 in the 400 IM at the intrasquad meet, while Caeleb Dressel was also in action, putting up respective times of 19.18 and 47.32 in the men’s 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly, respectively.

You can find intrasquad results via USA Swimming here.

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4 months ago

There’s something beautiful about these swim of the week awards. One week it chooses between the best performance of the Olympics/World Champs, the next it chooses between kids swimming at a Junior Nats, and this week its between two of the best active swimmers doing time trials at intrasquads.

4 months ago

Those times are kinda pedestrian for Dressel. Hope that means he’s far from a taper.

Reply to  96Swim
4 months ago

Probably or hopefully from training fairly hard right now (also based on all the other times by the swimmers in that meet).
In 2018 he was 23.6 LCM in May and then 21.6 at Nationals in late July.
In 2019 22.3 to 21.0 from March to July.

Reply to  96Swim
4 months ago

I don’t know how pedestrian they really are, given that he is no longer competing or primarily training in short course, is in the midst of heavy training, and still managed to put down an unsuited 50 free that would be one of the top swims in the NCAA for the season (only beaten by rested, suited swimmers at their midseason invitationals). 19.1 is nothing to sneeze at. His 100 fly was definitely less impressive than his 50, but a 47 low unsuited unrested for someone who no longer prioritizes short course in any meaningful way is still not a pedestrian time.

Reply to  yaboi
4 months ago

That’s getting me thinking has anyone in a brief gone sub 19 yet flat start?

Last edited 4 months ago by PFA
Gulliver’s Swimming Travels
Reply to  96Swim
4 months ago

Pretty sure he’s also coming off of covid (per his wife’s IG stories), so give the guy a break.

Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
4 months ago

In awe of how an unsuited, untapered ledecky can still casually leave the entire NCAA in the dust

Reply to  Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
4 months ago

Do we know that it was unsuited?

Reply to  Coach
4 months ago

All Dual meets I have seen in person or online they are always racing in regular suits/practice suits – Except for one meet that UF used to select the last few swimmers for their SEC team. The swimmers that were already on the SEC team swam in regular suits.

Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
Reply to  Dan
4 months ago

I went through KL’s tagged posts on instagram and there were pictures at the meet and she looked like she wasn’t suited

Last edited 4 months ago by Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
Georgia Rambler
Reply to  Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
4 months ago

KL is never casual when she races in my humble opinion, always something going on – Regarding the 8:59, in a recent interview Bruce Gemmel said that was the finest race he ever saw her swim, and he should know.

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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