Just as we saw a legendary mile mark go down at last weekend’s NCAA Championships (Janet Evans’ collegiate mark), we’ve seen another of the all-time greats get broken at the NCSA Junior National Championships in Orlando.
15-year old Katie Ledecky of Curl Burke has snuck under Katie Ziegler’s 15-16 record in the 1650 free with a 15:40.38. The old record was 15:40.89, set back in 2005. This is the 8th-best time in history (including last weekend’s college swims) and would’ve placed 3rd at this past weekend’s NCAA Championships. In fact, it would have won every (yards) NCAA Title in history but 3: 1990, 2011, and 2012.
Stunningly, en route to the win in the mile, she split a first 1000 yards of 9:25.07, which also breaks Ziegler’s National Age Group Record in that event, which had been 9:25.51.
Ziegler, like Ledecky, also hailed from the DC area (she swam for FISH at the time, to which she has recently returned).
Last year, Ledecky broke legendary distance marks in the 13-14 age group records in the 500 and the 1000, including a 500 record that had stood since Sippy Woodhead in 1978. Now newly 15, it didn’t take her long to start breaking records in the next age group as well – this is her first meet as a 15-year old as her birthday came late last week. She now has two full years to keep taking this record (and any others she breaks this week) lower.
The majority of this meet will be swum in yards prelims and long course meters finals (in honor of the Olympic year), so Ledecky will have plenty of other opportunities to break records throughout the week.