How Fast Will Katie Ledecky Swim At U.S. Olympic Trials?

7-time Olympic champion Katie Ledecky is in her third year at Florida under Coach Anthony Nesty, and she feels she’s grown in his training group.  I raced Nesty back in the early 1990s, and he was a sprinter. I never thought Nesty would be a distance swim coach, but Ledecky says her conversations with Florida alums about the kinds of  workouts Nesty did paints a different story. Ledecky thinks Nesty was a distance swimmer at heart.

In this interview Ledecky unpacks her training, why Friday workouts are brutal, and she shares a little about how Bobby Finke takes it when she beats in him in practice. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does….  Watch the video to hear it from her.

KATIE LEDECKY U.S. TRIALS PREDICTIONS

1 – This is not her final US Olympic Trials. I predict Ledecky will compete at the 2028 U.S. Olympic Trials.

2 – At the 2024 Olympic Trials, she swims to make the U.S. Team. I don’t see any PBs.  I do see a potential PB in the 1500 in Paris.  In Paris she touches the wall at 15:19 for the gold.

AT US TRIALS:

  • 400 Free: 3:58.8 – for the win
  • 800 Free: 8:09.9 – for the win
  • 1500 Free: 15:27 – for the win
  • 200 Free? I don’t know if she’s swim it at Trials. If she does, she’s 1:54.2.

BUT WHO CARES WHAT I THINK? IT’S ALL ABOUT WHAT YOU THINK. DROP YOUR COMMENTS BELOW.

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This is a Gold Medal Media production presented by SwimOutlet.com. Host Gold Medal Mel Stewart is a 3-time Olympic medalist and the co-founder of SwimSwam.com, a Swimming News website.

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Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
23 days ago

A slight revision to the 2024 USA Swimming Olympic Team Trials predictions:

200 FR – DNS
400 FR – 3:59.13 + 0.75 = 3.59.88
800 FR – 8:07.39 + 3.00 = 8:10.39 (11th)
1500 FR – 15:25.48 + 6.00 = 15:31.48 (9th)

Notes from 2023 to 2015:
800 FR – 8:08.87 – 8:07.39 = +1.48
1500 FR – 15.26.27 – 15:25.48 = +0.79

800 FR race plan (spitballing):
29.0 + 30.0 + 30.75 x 6 = 4:03.50
29.0 + 30.0 + 30.75 x 13 + 28.25 = 8:07.00

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
24 days ago

A Gold Medal Minute blast from the past:

https://youtu.be/ePD-8aj9ruY?si=gDxJa58VWR7sUrx4

Sorry Mel, Katie Ledecky did not swim the 1500 FR in calendar year 2016.

Sub13
24 days ago

I don’t think it really matters what times she swims at trials. She’s coming first in her 3 main events and obviously top 6 in the 200 so she’ll qualify for all she needs. Her times at major championships seem fairly consistent regardless of whether she was fast or slow at trials.

Although I will say 1:54.2 seems fairly unrealistic. That would be her second fastest swim of all time.

Last edited 24 days ago by Sub13
Aquajosh
24 days ago

It seems like y’all are forgetting that she just went 1:54.97 in San Antonio. Why do you think she’d be slower than that at Trials?

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  Aquajosh
24 days ago

If Katie Ledecky wishes to mimic her schedule to a tee at the 2024 Summer Olympics, don’t even bother to enter the W 200 FR at the 2024 USA Swimming Olympic Team Trials.

What is the benefit of the additional wear and tear in swimming an individual event at the 2024 USA Swimming Olympic Team Trials when Katie Ledecky has no intentions of swimming the aforementioned individual event at the 2024 Summer Olympics?

Greg P
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
24 days ago

She’s Ledecky. She swims whatever she wants to.

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  Aquajosh
23 days ago

Katie Ledecky will most likely swim the 200 FR at the 2024 Atlanta Classic, two weeks from today.

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
24 days ago

As a point of reference:

Katie Ledecky
2023 Atlanta Classic
200 FR – 1:55.63 dated 05/12/2023
400 FR – 3:58.84 dated 05/13/2023
800 FR – 8:13.56 dated 05/14/2023

Katie Ledecky
2024 TYR Pro Swim Series – San Antonio
200 FR – 1:54.97 dated 04/12/2024
400 FR – 4:01.41 dated 04/11/2024
800 FR – 8:12.95 dated 04/13/2024

In summary, year over year comparison:

200 FR ahead of schedule
400 FR behind schedule
800 FR ahead of schedule

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
24 days ago

As a point of reference:

Katie Ledecky
2023 Phillips 66 National Championships
200 FR – 1:55.28
400 FR – 4:00.45
800 FR – 8:07.07
1500 FR – 15:29.64

Nick B
24 days ago

My interest is which swimmers get the second spots in the 400, 800, &1500?

The 400 will by hyper-competitive in Paris. The second swimmer will need to be exceptionally fast to get in the finals. Ordinarily, I’d go with Bella Sims, but her 400 in Fukuoka was sub-par, and she might’ve been well advised to take a gap year (as Ledecky did in 2016) for Paris. Granted, she has great training partners, is uber-talented, but her 500 at NCAAs doesn’t lend credence to the notion that her 400 will be extraordinarily fast.

Weinstein & Madden are the other likely candidates. Leah Smith has been great in the past, but I don’t think it’s happening this time. Outside of… Read more »

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  Nick B
24 days ago

2024 USA Swimming Olympic Team Trials

W 400 FR (OQT 4:07.90)
Ledecky
Sims

W 800 FR (OQT 8:26.71)
Ledecky
Grimes

W 1500 FR (OQT 16:09.09)
Ledecky
Grimes

We will finally get to witness the “vaunted” Olympic taper from the Sandpipers of Nevada.

Rafael
Reply to  Nick B
24 days ago

Sims is currently the 9th fastest 400 freestyler since 2023 with her 4:03:25.. top 8 are all sub 4:03 now

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  Rafael
24 days ago

As of today, Summer McIntosh does not intend to swim the 200 FR at the 2024 Canadian Olympic Team Trials. Was that calculation taken into account?

Rafael
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
23 days ago

I Was talking about 400, not 200

jeff
Reply to  Nick B
24 days ago

Those 800 times look a lot faster than what I’m expecting – I’ll be very impressed if either Li or Titmus goes sub 8:13, just given how times have correlated with age historically for distance events.

Grimes is certainly a wild card though; she hasn’t been all that great in the 800 ever since Tokyo but if it’s true that she hasn’t tapered at all since Tokyo and is saving it for Paris, there’s no telling what she could unleash

Nick B
Reply to  jeff
24 days ago

I think Grimes is special. So much range in so many difficult events, plus open water. What is the right mix of events? I’m not certain.

I agree with your assessment that if she was not peaked in the past, Paris will be something amazing. It is certainly possible. That said, Fukuoka was not a good barometer as far as pool events. The open water events preceded the pool events, and lots of great pool swimmers were severely impacted, including Grimes. Not the case in Paris…thankfully.

Last edited 24 days ago by Nick B
Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  Nick B
24 days ago

Katie Grimes is better in the 1500 FR than the 800 FR. The W 800 FR will mostly come down to Cox, Grimes, Weinstein for second place.

As for the 400 IM, the Rebecca Soni school of breaststroke awaits.

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  jeff
24 days ago

Li Bingjie was alot slower in the women’s 800 meter freestyle at the 2024 Chinese National Swimming Championships (8:25.43) than at the 2023 World Aquatics Championships (8:13.31).

Meanwhile, Ariarne Titmus has plateaued in the women’s 800 meter freestyle:

2021 – 8:13.83
2022 – 8:13.59
2023 – 8:13.59

Caleb
Reply to  Nick B
23 days ago

400: Sims, Weinstein or Madden for the 2nd spot… I’d give the edge to Weinstein if I had to guess. Someone will go 4:01 or 4:02 at Trials. Weinstein has the capability to break 4 minutes at some point in her career.race

800: Grimes, Cox, Weinstein – tough to predict. Wonder if Grimes will skip this race and stick with 400 IM/1500 + open water events. If McIntosh skips the 800, Pallister is probably the one to beat for bronze. I’d guess that’s around 8:12 or 8:13. Probably faster than any non-Ledecky American but not totally out of reach.

1500: Grimes with a clear edge at trials. If she has a bad swim, Cox or Weinstein could step… Read more »

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  Caleb
23 days ago

Li Bingjie won the silver medal in the women’s 800 meter freestyle at the 2023 World Aquatics Championships.

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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