Katie Ledecky Sets US Open and Championship Record in the 400 Free

by Robert Gibbs 16

June 30th, 2017 National, News


Katie Ledecky won yet another National Championship tonight, and this time she took down her own U.S. Open Record and Championship Records with a time of 3:58.44.  The mark previously stood at 3:58.86, set at the 2014 U.S. Nationals.  Ledecky was just off the mark at least year’s Olympic Trials 3:58.98, before she demolished the world record in Rio.

Tonight’s time was the 3rd-fastest ever, coming in at just under two seconds slower than her world record time from last summer in Rio.

Her swim tonight also means that now all American top ten times are under 4:00 minutes.  Here’s how that list looks:

1 Katie Ledecky 3:56.46
2 Katie Ledecky 3:58.37
3 Katie Ledecky 3:58.44
4 Katie Ledecky 3:58.71
5 Katie Ledecky 3:58.86
6 Katie Ledecky 3:58.98
7 Katie Ledecky 3:59.13
8 Katie Ledecky 3:59.54
9 Katie Ledecky 3:59.82
10 Katie Ledecky 3:59.89

This is Ledecky’s third win of the meet as she previously won the 200 and 800 freestyle events.  Fellow Olympian Leah Smith has now taken second behind Ledecky in all three events, and the two form probably the most formidable 1-2 middle distance punch in the world this year.

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M Palota

Chuck Norris was going to swim the 400 with Katie then she looked at him and Chuck fainted.


wow, I really think Katie is going to be special at Worlds this year – 3:55, possible world record in the 200??


Is that the top 10 all time for American women?

Jim C

It is the top 10 times in textile, and would be the all time top 10 if not for Pelligrini’s 2009 time of 3:59.15,


Ew. Would not have been under 4:03 otherwise.


Wrong. Pellegrini is no Biedermann. Yes, her WRs were done in supersuits, but she has proven she could swim fastest times ever in textile, in 200 and 400 free. She swam 4:01.9 in 2011 world championships, faster than anyone had swum previously in textile.

Rome 2009 where she swam both 200 and 400 WRs is arguably Pellegrini’s peak.


Nothing supports the statement that Pellegrini peaked in 2009. Only she and her coach knew what she was capable of that year. But she never gets into discussion how superstars affected her swim.
Three super swimmers of completely different swimming specialties (Sjostrom, Schmitt, Ledecky) were not even close to Pellegrini’s time at 200. All of them showed remarkably similar time for the second half of the distance. Federica did it 1sec faster.
Was the supersuit helpful to Pellegrini? The answer is ‘yes’. Otherwise what would be the reason to wear it. To what extent? Pellegrini will never reveal this secret. I would estimate that in her case it gave her not less that 1% advantage.


I am not sure if you were joking about “Nothing supports the statement that Pellegrini peaked in 2009” Here’s a few things to consider: 1. Pellegrini was turning 21 yo during 2009 Rome World Championships. For most 200-400 freestylers (especially female freestylers), 21 yo would be the median if not towards the end of peak performance. Unless your name is Michelle Smith De Bruijn. I am sure data from 200/400 free Olympics/Worlds medalists in the past 20 years support this. Who knows, Ledecky may be the exception and can keep breaking 400 free WRs past the age of 21 yo (she’s 20). Also, by 2009, not unlike Ledecky, Pellegrini had already long and brilliant international career having already won Olympics… Read more »

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