Jessica Ashwood Breaks Own Aussie 800 Free Record In Santa Clara

2016 ARENA PRO SWIM SERIES AT SANTA CLARA

Australian Jessica Ashwood got the last night of finals at the Arena Pro Swim Series in Santa Clara going with a bang, setting a new Australian record in the women’s 800 freestyle, clocking 8:18.14 to win the race by 32 seconds. The time eclipses her mark of 8:18.41 from the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, where she just missed the medals in 4th.

Ashwood will be a medal contender in Rio, as she has qualified in both the 400 and 800 freestyle via the Australian Olympic Trials. There she came within one one-hundredth of a second of her previous record, going 8:18.42 in April. She won bronze in Kazan in the 400, setting another Aussie record in 4:03.34. She just missed that time at the Trials, going 4:03.71.

Here’s a comparative look at the splits from Ashwood’s swim in Kazan and the one tonight in Santa Clara:

2015 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

2016 SANTA CLARA PSS

Splits

Splits

100

 1:00.44 

 1:00.13

200

 2:03.63 (1:03.19)

 2:03.71 (1:03.58)

300

 3:06.76 (1:03.13)

 3:07.10 (1:03.39)

400

 4:09.96 (1:03.20)

 4:10.39 (1:03.29)

500

 5:12.60 (1:02.64)

 5:12.84 (1:02.45)

600

 6:15.41 (1:02.81)

 6:15.22 (1:02.38)

700

 7:18.08 (1:02.67)

 7:17.86 (1:02.64)

800

 8:18.41 (1:00.33)

 8:18.14 (1:00.28)

The splits from both swims are nearly identical, with Ashwood negative splitting both swims, going from 1:03’s in the first 400 down to 1:02’s in the back half. Ashwood being able to better her swim from Kazan at the final session of an in-season meet with no one close to her is a great sign for her moving forward, and she’ll be a force in Rio.

Finishing behind Ashwood was Miranda Heckman in 2nd clocking 8:50.14, and Katy Campbell was 3rd in 8:53.92.

Ashwood capped a very successful meet with this swim, as she also won the 400 freestyle (4:03.91) coming close to her Aussie record, and also finished 5th in the 200 free, setting a new personal best of 1:58.65.

Ashwood improves her time but remains 2nd in the world rankings, behind only Katie Ledecky who set a new world record at the Pro Swim in Austin in January.

1

KATIE

LEDECKY

USA

8.06.68*WR

01/17

2016 ARENA PRO SWIM SERIES

AUSTIN

2

JESSICA

ASHWOOD

AUS

8.18.14

06/05

2016 ARENA PRO SWIM SERIES

SANTA CLARA

3

BRITTANY

MCLEAN

CAN

8.21.40

04/09

2016 CANADIAN OLYMPIC TRIALS

TORONTO

3

BOGLARKA

KAPAS

HUN

8.21.40

05/19

2016 LEN EURO CHAMPIONSHIPS

LONDON

5

BECCA

MANN

USA

8.21.77

11/14

ARENA PRO SWIM SERIES

MINNEAPOLIS

Find the live recap of Sunday night finals in Santa Clara here.

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G.I.N.A.
4 years ago

There ought be a special prize for a 800 finalist who breaks the minute on the last 100. We need something for the girls who are not KL! It is not easy to be so far behind but ending very well is an seratonin boost instead of being down in the dumps.

Emg1986
Reply to  G.I.N.A.
4 years ago

Jessica Ashwood’s time bode well for the future. Only illness or injury can stop Ledecky in the 800 or 400. For the rest it is about the beginning of the fight back. It’s up to the likes of Ashwood and Kapas to start closing the gap between Ledecky and the pack. We need to see 8.13-8.15 for silver and bronze, and i think it might be possible.

SwimmerFoxJet
4 years ago

Not a threat to Ledecky (not in the computer dictionary).

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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