2022 SOUTHERN ZONE SOUTH SECTIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
- February 10-13, 2022
- Rosen Aquatic Center
- Orlando, Florida
- Long Course Meters (50m)
- Results via “Meet Mobile” – “2022 Southern Zone South Sectional Championships”
Katie Ledecky was on a roll for the second night in a row at the 2022 Southern Zone South Sectional Championships, swimming a 1:54.66 to win the 200 freestyle, which was faster than the 1:55.21 she swam at the Tokyo Olympics last summer to finish 5th. The time is her seventh-fastest swim in the event, and the fastest she has been since the April 2021 TYR Pro Swim Series in Mission Viejo, when she went 1:54.40.
In prelims, she swam a 1:56.09 and dropped 1.43 seconds in finals.
Ledecky’s time at sectionals in the 200 freestyle would have won the bronze medal at the 2021 Olympics, ahead of actual bronze medal winner Penny Oleksiak (1:54.70). In addition, her time from Friday is also 0.26 seconds off of the U.S. Open Record of 1:54.40 shared by her and Allison Schmitt. Ledecky’s best time is a 1:53.73 from the Rio 2016 Olympics, en-route to taking gold.
|Splits||KATIE LEDECKY– 1:54.66 (Orlando, 2022)||KATIE LEDECKY– 1:55.21 (Tokyo 2020)||KATIE LEDECKY– 1:53.73 (Rio 2016), personal best|
In Ledecky’s Rio and Tokyo swims, her splits got increasingly slower, which is how she has paced the majority of her 200 races.
In her race on Friday, Ledecky’s slowest split was the 2nd 50, and she descended the race outside of her initial 50. Despite not negative splitting the race (56.43/57.93), she closed in 28.96, which was her fastest final 50 since 2014 Nationals where she closed in a 28.94 and swam a time of 1:55.16. These two races are also the only instances when Ledecky has come home sub-29 seconds.
Ledecky negative split her 800 free on Thursday in a time of 8:11.83 (4:05.98/4:05.85), which was also faster than she was in Tokyo to win gold. Her recent performances indicate that training at the University of Florida has improved her closing speed, which is similar to the way that her new training partner Bobby Finke closed his races in Tokyo.
Ledecky switched her training base from Stanford to Florida last fall, and is training under Anthony Nesty in Florida with a star-studded group of Olympic medalists including Finke, Caeleb Dressel, Natalie Hinds, and Kieran Smith.
Hinds finished 2nd in the race in a time of 2:00.60, which is a new personal best for her. Her previous best is a 2:01.30 from the 2020 TYR Pro Swim Series in Des Moines. Addison Sauickie, a high school sophomore from the Sarasota Sharks swim club, finished 3rd (2:00.91).
Ledecky also swam the 400 IM on Friday, touching 1st in 4:39.68 to shed 1.2 seconds off her prelims time of 4:40.88. This is her fifth-fastest performance in the event, and her first time going sub-4:40 since January 2019 at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Knoxville. Her best time is a 4:38.18 from 2017.
Her splits were as follows:
|1:03.45 (29.27/31.18)||1:12.27 (36.70/35.57)||1:22.84 (41.06/41.78)||1:01.12 (31.12/30.00)||4:39.68.|