Katie Ledecky and Jack Conger Go “Primary” At Metro Championships

  23 Braden Keith | February 05th, 2013 | Featured, High School, News

Katie Ledecky and Jack Conger both swim at Washington D.C.-area private schools, meaning that the eschew the Maryland State Championship meet in favor of the D.C. Metro Champs – which ultimately becomes a top-tier high school championship meet even without state sponsorship.

Unlike what we saw when the Colorado psych sheets (see: Missy Franklin) were revealed earlier this evening, Katie Ledecky from Stone Ridge and Jack Conger from Good Counsel High School will both be swimming primary events at their championship meet.

Full Psych Sheets available here.

Ledecky’s entries will be the 200 and the 500 yard freestyles: the closest races to the 800 meter free where she won Olympic gold in London. The records she will be chasing will include Missy Franklin’s 200 free Independent High School National Record, as Franklin won’t be swimming the event this weekend; Ledecky and Franklin will be going after the same record in the 500 free. While we know that Franklin won’t be shaved and tapered as she focuses on World Championship Trials, we don’t have much information on what Ledecky’s strategy will be for her championship meet.

Records Watch:

200 Free
Independent High School: 1:43.15, Missy Franklin, Regis Jesuit, 2012
Overall High School: 1:42.81, Dagny Knutson, 1:42.81.

500 Free
Overall and Independent School Records: 4:33.35, Kate Ziegler, Bishop O’Connell, 2006

Conger, meanwhile, has a different definition of “primary event.” He’s shown that he’s an absolute stud in just about every event on the high school schedule, almost equally in yards. Two events have clearly emerged as the clear targets, though, and those are the two he’ll swim: the 100 back and the 500 free.

In the 100 backstroke, at Winter Nationals, he broke Ryan Murphy’s 17-18 National Age Group Record in the 100 back with a 45.32 – a time that was also better than Murphy’s high school record. That time didn’t count for the scholastic record books, however, as it was done at a USA Swimming meet. So, Conger will be wanting to write another page in these twos’ back-and-forth rivalry with a new record. It’s scary to think about – but maybe even a 44 is in the stars.

Then he’ll swim the 500, an event that emerged as a strength for him at this same meet last year (where he didn’t swim the 100 back). He put up a 4:17.51 at that meet that shocked everyone, broke the Independent High School national record, and rattled the cage of the most legendary record left in NISCA’s papers: Jeff Kostoff’s 4:16.39 from 1983. That’s one of only two records, public, private or otherwise, from before 2006; and the only older than 1998. If Conger were able to get that record, he would be able to stake a serious claim as the greatest male high school swimmer ever.

No relay entries are out yet, but Conger’s best chance at a relay leadoff record would be to swim on Good Counsel’s 200 free relay and lead-off with an eye at Murphy’s other record, a 19.54 in the 50 free (independent) or Vlad Morozov’s 19.43 overall record.

Records Watch:

500 Free
Independent High School Record: 4:17.51, Jack Conger, Good Counsel, 2012
Overall High School Record: 4:16.39, Jeff Kostoff, Upland H.S., 1983

100 Back
Overall and High School Records: 45,34, Ryan Murphy, Bolles School, 2012

50 Free (relay)
Independent High School Record: 19.54, Ryan Murphy, Bolles School, 2012
Overall High School Record: 19.43, Vlad Morozov, Torrance H.S., 2010

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23 Comments on "Katie Ledecky and Jack Conger Go “Primary” At Metro Championships"

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3 years 8 months ago

This may not be the article to comment this but why is there such a difference between high school swimming in different states? For example, states like Florida have a districts, regionals, states format each a week a part where swimmers must advance to each meet. Hence, they only have the opportunity swim their two events plus relays. Meanwhile, New York seems to have meets on 3 consecutive weekends, yet their swimmers get to swim different events at each meet, because their state meet is based off qualifying times (Ex: Jack Conger in the 50 and IM last weekend, but the 500 and 100 back this weekend). In addition, many states like Pennsylvania swim States separated into two days while states like Florida pack everything into one long day. This doesn’t seem like a big deal, but when recognitions like Swimming World Virtual National Champions and High School Swimmer of the Year ride on these meets, it would seem like everything could be a little more even across the country. Anyone have any thoughts?

3 years 8 months ago

There should be a national high school championship. Top swimmer in each event from each state both private school and public school combined. So 50 swimmers per event. Prelims finals. Mid-country location.

Craig H
3 years 8 months ago

And of course there’s California, which swims in the spring and doesn’t even have a state championship meet!

3 years 8 months ago

That’s a good point, in Hawaii it’s set with time standards so they only have to taper for state assuming that made the very easy time cuts, but here in texas with district, regionals, and state at two week intervals, we end up in taper mode for a month or more at times, especially with sectionals just a week after state. Being able to zero in on one meet instead of spliting your energy has to give a slight advantage, but then again Feigen seemed to do quite alright so it’s whatever

Coach GB
3 years 8 months ago

Every state makes it’s own decision as the National Federstion sets some rules but it is a Federationso but has no jurisdiction in each state. You would be amazed and how much difference there is in getting to states to have a State meet or Meets for size and scored to decide the champion as 49 states do.
Of course you could go to NewJersey that decides their champion team by a dual meet playoff with A and B and Public and Private separate with an individual meet for all teams with standards Ind and Relays with no score kept. This way in the dual meets the top swimmers are not usually tested and at the big meet some come ready, some not and some don’t come at all. Plus I can get you a spot at the finish line as their are plenty of seats available.

3 years 8 months ago

Why would Conger be a better high school swimmer than Kostoff, if Kostoff did his swim in the 1980s and swam what was likely at or near the american record at the time. If Conger wants to lay a claim as the best high school swimmer of all time, he would have to approach 4:08 or 44.55 in his events to be considered.

3 years 8 months ago

Guess it would be better to say Fastest not best.

Joel Lin
3 years 8 months ago

Kostoff’s swim was an American record. I believe it is still the last time we have seen that accomplished at a HS meet.

3 years 8 months ago

That’s true. And before that, I think Andy Coan.

3 years 8 months ago

Has charolette Meyers made a college choice yet? She clearly is a stud, but I can’t find anything on her.

3 years 8 months ago

The Naval academy

bobo gigi
3 years 8 months ago

If there’s somewhere a live streaming of this meet please tell us where. Because times can be crazy.
I know Jack Conger want to beat the 500 free record and I think he will do it. I predict 4.15 for him. But Braden, if I read well the psych sheets, the 500 free is before the 100 back. So I don’t think he will beat the 100 back record. And there’s a relay between the 2 individual races (if he swims it). And there’s a relay at the start of the meet (if he swims it). If he breaks the record of Ryan Murphy after all these races he’s more than a beast. I predict a decent 45.80 for him. For his 50 free at the lead-off in the relay it will also be tough to break a record. This relay is just after the 500 free. It’s not the better way to break a record on sprint. I predict 19.90 for him. All these predictions are rational but perhaps this guy will not make rational things and will swim 4.10/19.30/44.80/42.30. And if does that, yes, we have to call him the best high school swimmer ever. We’ll see.

3 years 8 months ago

Wasn’t Conger recently at the OTC? Training at altitude then coming down for his high school championship meet is a bit of an advantage.
Not sure if Kostoff had that opportunity.

3 years 8 months ago

Doubt conger is swimming the 2 free relay. The last two weekends he’s done the fly leg of the medley and anchored the 4 free relay. Look for him to do it again. That way theres rest between the 500 and 100 back.

3 years 8 months ago

That’s what he usually does

bobo gigi
3 years 8 months ago

Jack Conger wants to beat the 500 free record. I don’t know if Katie Ledecky has time goals but based on her talent and her 1.45 from last week we can expect 1.43 in the 200 free and 4.34 in the 500 free.

bobo gigi
3 years 8 months ago

Another swimmer to watch is Caroline McTaggart in the sprint races because last year she was in 23.09 and 49.94, very decent times for a freshman. It will be interesting to see where she is one year later.

3 years 8 months ago

No doubt, Jack Conger is a phenomenal swimmer and young man, but keep in mind he is good company when you talk about the greatest male high school swimmer. Let’s not forget what David Nolan did 2 years ago, he pretty much single handily won the High School National Championship for his school, and let’s not forget about the Bolles squad. A lock for this year’s National Champion. Three of those swimmers (Santo Condorelli, Ryan Murphy and Joe Schooling) each sacrificed an individual event to stack their relays. Condorelli could have swum the 100 free and flirted with the Independent High School National Record and both Ryan Murphy and Joe Schooling could have broken the 200 IM Independent High School Record. That meet was crazy fast. Schooling set the 100 Fly Independent HS and the HS National Record, Murphy set the Independent HS National Records in the 50 and 100 Free and 100 Back. The 100 Back was also the HS National Record. To boot, these guys obliterated the National Records of all 3 Relays. I think this makes a good argument that Murphy should be in the mix as one of the best HS male swimmers of all time. Murphy has led the Bolles squad for the past 4 years to 3 national championships (I am assuming this year is in the bag).
Back to the first comment of this article about the various HS state formats. I agree there is a significant disadvantage if you live in a state like Florida, where you are locked into your events for the entire series and prelims/finals are condensed into a single day. In addition, their HS season is early (Aug-early Nov). For example, I think Murphy was 17 yrs, 4mos at his state meet vs. Jack Conger will be 18yrs, 6mos. Maybe you should be comparing Murphy’s times to Conger’s times as a junior.

3 years 8 months ago

conger and murphy have been on the same trajectory since 14, both dropping nearly identical amounts of time year after year. while conger is a good 9 months older, not everyone gets faster and slows down at the same time. so just because murphy is younger doesn’t mean he will have an extra 9 months of dropping time after conger. and while national high school records go by grade, national age group records go by age, and if murphy keeps dropping, his age will be recognized over conger’s next year because he will be 18 at NCAAs.

Richard Henderson
3 years 8 months ago

Kostoff was a distance phenom, but I would rate both Muphy and Conger ahead of him due to their incredible versatility. I think the case could be made for either of them and also Nolan for best ever high school male. It’s going to be so great to watch all of them go at it in college.

A Swimmer
3 years 8 months ago

Look forward to hearing the results

Washington Metropolitan Prep School Swimming & Diving League (WMPSSDL) Championships
Takoma Aquatic Center February 1-2, 2013

3 years 8 months ago

She doesn’t look old to me at all. 100% youthful exuberance in that photo. And don’t judge her looks until you’ve seen her with dry hair. Katie is really pretty.


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Braden Keith

The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

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