Katie Ledecky Happy with Tough Double, 200 IM and 800 Free (Video Interview)

Women’s 800 Freestyle – 2014 Austin Grand Prix – as reported by Jared Anderson / SwimSwam

Danish national record-holder Lotte Friis led early, but Katie Ledecky completed a thrilling comeback, gaining on Friis steadily from about the 350-mark onward and erasing the two-second lead the Dane had built up. Ledecky first took the lead at the 650-meter turn and powered away from there to go 8:26.70. That’s a bit off her 8:13.86 World Record from last summer, but still an awfully good swim for January 19th.

Friis took second in 8:28.65. Those two were completely checked out from the rest of the pack early on.
Canada’s Savannah King finished third in 8:38.87, a tenth ahead of Chloe Sutton, who went 8:38.93. Ledecky’s new training partner Isabella Rongione finished fifth in 8:47.39 and behind her was the top swim out of the morning heats, 13-year-old Madison Homovich of NCAC. Leah Stevens was 8:49.68, just behind Homovich’s 8:49.49 and NCAP’s Megan Byrnes took 8th place.


Coming off her 4th place 200 fly finish, Cal’s Caitlin Leverenz got a better result in the 200 IM. The U.S. Olympian went 2:13.44 to win easily over Palo Alto Stanford’s Karlee Bispo. Bispo moved up from the fourth seed, charging home on the freestyle leg to take second in 2:16.03.

SwimMAC’s Katie Meili picked up her second third-place finish of the night, going 2:16.13 – Bispo ran by Meili at the finish, but the SwimMAC postgrad was able to hold off a surging Katie Ledecky, who split an event-best 29.9 on the freestyle. Ledecky finished 4th in 2:16.27 and will now gear up for her 800 freestyle battle with Lotte Friis.

Former Texas Longhorn Laura Sogar went 2:18.69 competing for her original Bluefish club. Courtney Monsees, Destiny Nelson and Megan Kingsley rounded out the top 8.

 Tera Van Beilen took 9th place in her second swim of the night, winning the B final in 2:19.91 after taking 5th in the 100 breast a few events ago.

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bobo gigi
6 years ago

Tough double. I would rather say crazy double.
The 800 free was a complete replay of Barcelona’s race with Lotte starting very fast and Katie playing with the Danish swimmer before killing her at the end.

Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

Just something our swimmers grow up on in our age group system.

Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

Again, we all hope that Katie is racing the 800 for us 10 years from now- but that is a lot of 800s between now and 2024. In a midseason meet, let her have fun racing something different. The 200 IM is fun and a fresh challenge for her. Fun and fresh is great at this time of the year.

Reply to  coach
6 years ago

They know what they are doing.

bobo gigi
Reply to  Slacker
6 years ago

I’m sure they know what they are doing.
And these Grand Prix meets are good to try something different and to swim for fun.
It was just to say she’s incredibly strong to do that double.
But she said she wasn’t sure she will do it again in the future. 🙂

6 years ago

Is there video of the 200 IM final?

bobo gigi
Reply to  Evilwatersprite
6 years ago

Good luck.
I ask for the videos of finals since Saturday and it’s not successful so far.
Your only chance to find something is here but it’s very complicated. For example, if you want the men’s 100 free, it’s E02_HFA..And I don’t find the videos after the 20th event.

bobo gigi
Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

I’ve found other videos!
If you want the videos after the 20th event, click on E20 at bottom right.
You will have all the other races until the 32nd event.
Yes, it’s awfully complicated but it’s still better than nothing.
The race you look for is the women’s 200 IM A-Final so it’s E27_HFA.
I try to post the link.

bobo gigi
Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

So I recap. If you want to watch a final, look for the event number and the letter.
For example, the women’s 100 free was the first event.
So, if you want to watch the A-Final, look for E01_HFA.
B-Final is E01_HFB.
I hope you have understood.

Jim C
6 years ago

If she had swum 400IM and her 200 to 400 ratio were the same as it was for the freestyle, I get a 4 42.89 for her 400IM just 1.33 s behind the winner. Could she be thinking about the 400IM?

Reply to  Jim C
6 years ago

Jim C – I bet she’ll give it a shot at some point.

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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