Katie Ledecky Breaks NCAA Record in 1000 Yard Free by 10 Seconds

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.

See the full meet recap here.

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
100 52.80 53.43
200 55.58 55.68
300 55.12 56.22
400 55.19 56.15
500 55.66 56.25
600 55.70 56.49
700 55.77 56.54
800 55.06 56.55
900 55.15 56.46
1000 54.46 56.38

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4 years ago

Who went 8:59? And why the heck don’t the women swim the 1500 in the Olympics? That needs to change, Now!!

Reply to  joe
4 years ago

She did

Human Ambition
Reply to  joe
4 years ago

Agree about 1500.

Reply to  joe
4 years ago

As far as I understand it the reason why the 1500m is not an Olympic event for women has a few different components

History, there is a lot of history in the 800m and some swimmers (including Ledecky and I think Evans) have said that they don’t want the 1500 added if that would mean getting rid of the 800. The thought process is that they don’t want that history to be forgotten which I agree would happen if you get rid of the event (except for in swim nerds circles).

Now you may ask why not add the event without getting rid of the 800? Well this would obviously mean adding the 800 for men, which for people who… Read more »

4 years ago

ummm… smash???

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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