Katie Ledecky Breaks US 15-16 National Age Group Record in the 400 Free

Not that she seemed particularly bothered by it, but with a best time in the women’s 400 freestyle final at the 2013 USA Swimming World Championship Trials on Friday in Indianapolis, Katie Ledecky has gotten one hook off of her back: the unusual fact that her best 400 freestyle up until today was on the first half of her gold medal swim in the 800 free at the London Olympics.

Ledecky swam a 4:04.05 in the women’s 400 free final to break her own 4:04.34 record set at last year’s Olympic Games in her 800 freestyle split.

Check out the comparative splits below:

Ledecky ’12 58.81 1:01.14 1:02.15 1:02.25 4:04.34
Ledecky ’13 58.91 1:01.14 1:02.08 1:01.92 4:04.05

That’s pretty wild to look at, considering that the top row is the first 400 meters of an 800 free. It shows just how fast she attacked her 800 in London.

Expect this record to go much lower when she swims it at the World Championships in Barcelona as a month, as Ledecky is not close to a full taper for this meet.

She and Chloe Sutton will be the two representatives in both the women’s 400 and 800 free in Barcelona.

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What was the 400 free record before Ledecky got on the scene?


I believe it was her own time of 4:04.3


Janet Evans held the 15-16 record at 4:05.45 until Ledecky came along.


Actually, she didn’t swim this race faster, she just touched with her hand instead of her feet! LOL!


So true!

When Janet Evans broke 400 WR for the first time (4:05.45) she went out so fast and swam the first 200 in 2:01.57 and the second one in 2:03.88.

I can’t be sure, but that 2:01.57 could well have been her 200 PB.

Although in other records she would negative splitting.

Kieren Perkins broke 800 WR on the way to breaking 1,500 WR in 1994.

I am actually a bit surprised Katie did not go faster on the first 200 now that she gained more speed.

bobo gigi

4.04.05 untapered isn’t bad at all for Miss Ledecky. The big show is expected for Barcelona.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder 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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