Ella Eastin: “I’ve been really at peace with the outcome of my races” (Video)

Reported by Lauren Neidigh.


  • NCAA Record: Katie Ledecky (Stanford), 2018, 3:56.53
  • American Record: Katie Ledecky (Stanford), 2018, 3:56.53
  • Championship Record: Katinka Hosszu (USC), 2012, 3:56.54
  • 2017 Champion: Ella Eastin (Stanford), 3:57.57
  1. GOLD: Ella Eastin, Stanford, 3:54.60
  2. SILVER: Katie Ledecky, Stanford, 3:58.29
  3. BRONZE: Sydney Pickrem, Texas A&M, 3:59.05

Stanford’s Katie Ledecky took it out with a 54.55 on fly, leading under American Record pace. Teammate Ella Eastin pulled slightly ahead through backstroke, flipping over half a second ahead of Ledecky. Eastin was leading by a body length after the first 50 breast, and touched was 4 seconds ahead of Ledecky and 3 seconds under American Record pace. She continued to build her lead on Ledecky through the first half of the free leg, and she was way too far ahead for anyone to close on her by that point. Eastin destroyed the American Record by 2 seconds.

Texas A&M’s Sydney Pickrem pulled ahead of Ledecky on the breast leg, but Ledecky came through on the free leg to give the Cardinal a 1-2 finish. Another Cardinal, Brooke Forde, nearly made it a top 3 sweep. She moved up to trail Pickrem by just a tenth with 50 yards to go, but Pickrem outsplit her down the stretch to out-touch Forde as she clipped her best from SECs. Forde broke 4:00 for the first time in 3:59.30, followed by Texas A&M’s Bethany Galat.

In the B heat, Denver’s Bailey Andison trailed halfway, but made a big move on the breast leg to take the lead. She held on through the freestyle leg to top Ohio State’s Kristen Romano, 4:03.83 to 4:04.56. Texas’ Evie Pfeifer led through backstroke. She fell back on the breast leg, but pulled into 3rd on the free leg with a 4:05.32.

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Tom from Chicago
3 years ago

I want to see Ella swim a 200 breast now.

3 years ago

Really interesting bit about how she is consistently beat in practice by her teammates.

Reply to  CraigH
3 years ago

Seems like this is a more or less common trend for top-tier athletes. I remember Dressel mentioning the same thing in his post-200 IM interview, and Phelps talking about how Erik Vendt would destroy him in practice (in his book).
It would be interesting to extrapolate something out of this. However it seems like this rule does not apply to distance where better in-practice swimmers usually perform better than the others in the race as well. Does this mean distance is less mental?

Reply to  CraigH
3 years ago

It is interesting. I wonder if these top swimmers don’t run their bodies into the ground as much by not pushing themselves as much in practice (not necessarily intentionally). They can recover quicker and can train more consistently, albeit at a slightly lower level. Sometimes training smarter beats training harder. Or it could be that these individuals have more natural talent or are mentally better on race day.

3 years ago

400IM is quite new for Ledecky. I couldn’t wait to see her put her training into it. She will need to train hard on the breastroke leg. If she is anywhere near anyone into the freestyle leg, my bag is on Ledecky.

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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