We all knew it was coming, but now that it’s arrived, it’s become so expected that it come with far less than the usual fanfare: Katie Ledecky has broken her first NCAA Record.
Just 2 months into her collegiate career, the greatest distance swimmer in history has officially etched her name into the Cardinal record books with a 9:10.49 on Saturday in the 1000 yard free. That cleared not only Janet Evans’ 26-year old Avery Aquatic Center Pool Record (by 20 seconds), it whacked 10 seconds from the NCAA Record. The old mark was set at last year’s ACC Championships, en route to a 1650 NCAA Record, by Virginia’s Leah Smith at 9:20.15.
The 1000 is a bit of a dubious record – the event isn’t an official NCAA Championship event, and so is rarely swum on a taper aside from at the Ivy League Championships. That means records are often set either at dual meets (as this one was) or as part of an electrifying 1650.
Even though the circumstances weren’t exceptionally unusual in this case, the magnitude by which Ledecky broke the record was – if it were anybody other than Ledecky. That’s her personal, and any woman’s, second-fastest time ever in the event, saving for the 8:59.65 she swam in December of 2015.
A split comparison is below, keeping in mind that Smith’s swim was done as a split, whereas Ledecky’s was done on a whole swim.
|Ledecky New Record||Smith Old Record|