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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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