Hardcore Swimmer of the Month is a recurring SwimSwam feature shedding light on a U.S.-based swimmer or water polo player who has proven themselves truly hardcore over the past month. As with any item of recognition, Hardcore Swimmer of the Month is a subjective exercise meant to highlight one athlete whose work holds noteworthy context – perhaps a swimmer who was visibly outperforming other swimmers over the month, or one whose accomplishements slipped through the cracks among other high-profile swims. If your favorite athlete wasn’t selected, feel free to respectfully recognize them in our comment section.
There are 6 stops on the 2017 Pro Swim Series, and one would assume a swimmer would have to swim most of the six to have a shot at the overall series points title.
That’s unless you’re Katie Ledecky, of course. The laws of nature don’t fully apply to her.
Ledecky has only hit two of the four stops so far, as the Austin and Indianapolis meets conflicted with college season. But Ledecky has chewed up ground rapidly on the leaderboard, and jumped all the way to 2nd place at the Atlanta stop earlier this month.
Ledecky scored 15 points to lead all women in Atlanta. That’s three wins, and follows up an 18-point performance in Mesa. She’s now just 6 points behind current leader Melanie Margalis, whom she’s outscored by 12 and 7 in the past two meets.
Ledecky was dominant in her scoring events. Her 8:15.71 in the 800 was a pedestrian time for her, but still beat the field by 20 seconds, and is faster than all but two other women in swimming history. Ledecky was 4:00.98 in the 400 – four seconds off her world record, but almost eight faster than the field and faster than all but four other women in history. She won the 200 free in 1:56.26 that ranks 5th in the world this season and beat the field by a second and a half.
Just showing off at this point, Ledecky also swam the 100 free, making the A final and taking 5th with a 54.69.
She’s now primed to take the Pro Swim Series points lead this weekend, as she’s entered in three events (100 free, 200 free and 1500 free) and Margalis in none.
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