Katie Ledecky Crushes Junior World Record in 200 Free at Mesa

In winning the women’s 200 freestyle on Friday evening at the Mesa Grand Prix, not only did 17-year old Katie Ledecky leap to 4th in the world rankings this year and mark a lifetime best (by .05 seconds); she also broke the official on-the-books FINA Junior World Record.

That cleared the existing starting standard, as recognized by FINA, for girls aged 14-17, of 1:58.93. That time was done by Canadian Brittany MacLean at the 2011 Junior World Championships in Lima, Peru.

As we have talked about since FINA began ratifying Junior World Records on April 1, with the existing FINA Junior World Championships Records as the minimum threshold to get a Junior World Record, Ledecky’s swim is far from the fastest ever done by a 14-17 year old girl. In fact, it’s not even the fastest done by a 14-17 year old girl in her own country, as that standard belongs to then-16-year old Missy Franklin, who was a 1:55.06 at the 2011 World Championships (twice).

Unlike Ledecky’s pending Junior World Record in the 400 free from Thursday, however, at least this is Ledecky’s personal best time.

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This kid is really unbelievable. She is gonna be the greatest freestyler of all time.

Mark Savage



Because I’m getting a bit obsessive…and because Katie could POTENTIALLY dominate 100-800/1500…Here’s her potential Olympic schedule. That’s a Phelps-like schedule…and insane. Given how much improvement she’s made in her sprint distances…I wouldn’t necessarily count her out for being the best 100 freestyler as well…2 years is a long time.

day 2
(4×100 free prelims)
400 free prelims
4×100 final
400 free final

day 3
200 free prelims
200 free semi

day 4
200 free final

day 5
100 free prelims
(4×200 free prelims)
100 free semi
4×200 free final

day 6
800 free prelims
100 free final

day 7
(4×100 medley prelims)
800 free final

day 8
(4×100 medley relay)


The best in 100 free while still training for and competing in 400 and 800?

Not a chance.


If Katie wants to win medal in 100 and 200 free in Rio, she will need to break (or at least get very close to) the 100 and 200 WRs. Why? Because Campbell and even Sjoestrom may break 100 free WR by Rio, and Missy/Schmitt/McKeon/Pellegrini/Muffat may get very close to the 200 free WR

An example has been set:
Shane Gould won medals including golds in All freestyle events at 1976 Munich. But before that, she had broken and held simultaneously ALL freestyle WRs.


I think she should steer clear of the 100 in the big meets. She can make the 100 free a post Rio project but it’s great to see her mix it with the racers at the GPs.

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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