In First Race as a Pro, Katie Ledecky Breaks 1500 Free WR – 15:20.48

2018 TYR PRO SWIM SERIES – INDIANAPOLIS

It didn’t take long. In the very first race of Katie Ledecky‘s professional career, she has broken her own world record in the 1500 free.

Taking a full five seconds off of her old mark and racing at the 2018 Pro Swim Series in Indy, Ledecky charged to a 15:20.48, finishing almost fifty seconds ahead of 2nd place’s Erica Sullivan (16:09.88). This is the first best time in long course in this event for Ledecky in three years– her previous best, which also stood as the previous world record, was a 15:25.48 from the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Russia. That’s a clean five full seconds off of the old mark.

SPLITS

28.09
30.41
30.76
200 split 2:00.25 30.99
30.86
31.39
31.21
400 split 4:04.88 31.17
30.98
30.96
30.70
30.77
30.99
30.85
30.75
800 split 8:11.70 30.82
30.82
30.68
30.76
1000 split 10:14.83 30.87
30.60
30.72
30.90
30.89
30.68
30.81
30.84
30.44
30.55
Final time 15:20.48 29.22

In Budapest, Ledecky was a disappointing 8:12.68 — she split faster than that in her race today by almost a full second. Additionally, after (relatively speaking) cruising the 400, she never went above 31.0 again, showcasing her remarkable pacing abilities and immense grit.

This was Ledecky’s first official swim as a professional athlete after she announced in March she’d be foregoing her remaining two seasons of NCAA eligibility. Ledecky raced for the Stanford Cardinal the last two seasons, dominating the distance events in the collegiate world. That said, Ledecky was unable to produce best times last summer at the 2017 World Championships, and she started to fall off of her mark in yards this season, too.

In less than two months since the 2018 NCAAs, however, it’s as if she’s a teenager again, going big lifetime bests with every swim.

Ledecky is now a full eighteen (18) seconds faster than anyone else in history– the next best performer, ever, is Denmark’s Lotte Friis, who went a 15:38.88 in 2013. That time actually came during a tight race with Ledecky, who was then just 16, at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona. Ledecky won gold there with a 15:36.53, which was a WR at the time.

Ledecky, 21 years old, now holds the eight fastest times in this event in history.

TOP PERFORMANCES OF ALL TIME – WOMEN’S 1500 FREE

  1. Katie Ledecky – 15:20.48 (2018)
  2. Katie Ledecky – 15:25.48 (2015)
  3. Katie Ledecky – 15:27.71 (2015)
  4. Katie Ledecky – 15:28.36 (2014)
  5. Katie Ledecky – 15:31.82 (2017)
  6. Katie Ledecky – 15:34.23 (2014)
  7. Katie Ledecky – 15:35.65 (2017)
  8. Katie Ledecky – 15:36.53 (2013)

TOP PERFORMERS OF ALL TIME – WOMEN’S 1500 FREE

  1. Katie Ledecky (USA) – 15:20.48 (2018)
  2. Lotte Friis (DEN) – 15:38.88 (2013)
  3. Lauren Boyle (NZL) – 15:40.14 (2015)
  4. Kate Ziegler (USA) – 15:42.54 (2007)
  5. Alessia Filippi (ITA) – 15:44.93 (2009)
  6. Boglarka Kapas (HUN) – 15:47.09 (2015)
  7. Jazmin Carlin (GBR) – 15:47.26 (2013)
  8. Mireia Belmonte (ESP) – 15:50.89 (2017)

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105 Comments on "In First Race as a Pro, Katie Ledecky Breaks 1500 Free WR – 15:20.48"

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Steve Nolan

I’m linking to your post in the other thread way up here because I think it’s hilarious: Click me!

I’m sure it’ll be uploaded, but she just went 15:20.48, breaking the WR by 5 seconds lol.
A cool 25k right there.

She’s gonna break a WR by 0.01 every time she swims something now.

A select few SwimSwam commenters: “Shes so washed up, everyone is going to beat her come Tokyo”
Katie Ledecky in first race as a pro: “Hold my beer…”

ArtVanDeLegh10

I was wrong. I was one of the people that said I wouldn’t be surprised if she never went another LCM best time in the 400/800/1500 Free. I wonder what changed to elicit a 5 second drop?

Ol' Longhorn

Not coming off a freshman year at an academically elite college. Freshman year is a major adaptation — new coach, less sleep/controlled environment, more schoolwork.

She used as bulletin board material like MP

A lot of people just don’t seem to understand the concept of having an off-year. Even Michael Phelps had those.

Which brand of beer do you think she drinks? Probably a Dean Farris IPA

Farris seems more of a microbrew guy

O’Douls for sure

Dean Farris doesn’t like beer, but beer likes Dean Farris.

I know I pushed back hard on some doom and gloom posts from last summer. I’m thrilled for her.

You may be right, since she has reached (barely though) drinking age…

^This

According to meet mobile, she was 8:11 at the 800 mark which I believe is faster than she was at worlds in the 800 last year. Not sure if she can break the record in that, but I’m very excited to see what she can do. This is such a pleasant surprise and obviously Ana maxing swim!

That last bit is supposed to say “obviously an amazing swim!”

She was on pace for a 8:10ish on the second half of the swim too

too impressed

Last 800 was 8:10.35. If you take the first 100 with the last 700, she was 8:07.28.

science geek

Good god! 8:07!!!!!

And if you just use her fastest (non-contiguous) splits, you get an 8:06.76…just sayin…

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studies sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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