Katie Ledecky smashes American record with 4:26.58 in the 500 freestyle

See video of the swim here, thanks to Dave Bell.

The record books are on high alert every time Katie Ledecky touches the water, and today she took down another.

Swimming at prelims of the DC Metro Champs with her Stone Ridge High School team, Ledecky obliterated the American record in the 500 free going – are you sitting down for this? – a 4:26.58.

The swim and record are still unofficial at this point and haven’t shown up yet on live results, but Ledecky’s otherworldly time has already hit the Twitter-sphere like a freight train.

(Update: the swim is now official and appearing on the meet’s live results, which you can find here.)

Last February, Ledecky became the first woman ever under 4:30 in the event, going 4:28.71. But she clearly saved her best stuff for her senior year, chopping over two seconds off that time. She’s now the fastest woman in history in the event by nearly four full seconds.

In addition to the American record, that swim should stand up as the new national independent high school record and overall national high school record as well as the 17-18 National Age Group record. In fact, Ledecky is still 17 for another month, meaning she has over a year to re-set the NAG record into even more unbelievable territory.

Ledecky’s splits: 24.94, 51.74 (26.80), 1:18.70 (26.96), 1:45.77 (27.07), 2:12.96 (27.19), 2:39.80 (26.84), 3:06.63 (26.83), 3:33.76 (27.13), 4:00.63 (26.87), 4:26.58 (25.95).

Ledecky will have another shot to lower the record in Saturday night’s finals, but with the way she attacked tonight’s race, it seems more likely she’ll use finals to focus on her 200 free and relay events for Stone Ridge.

You can find live results of the meet here.

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CoachGB
6 years ago

Fantastic swim. Done in the Middle of week at a HS Championship. Famous swimmers also perform well for there HS and there club with the same allegiance to both. Just watch her video that was up on this site she did at school. All over the country swimmers have swum fast for both and created great memories of their HS swimming and college and even Olympics all in one big package. Only one state hasn’t a championship set up so the best will bring there best to the site because of a system that no other state uses. Barbotus knows.

brad burget
Reply to  CoachGB
6 years ago

What state?

DBell
Reply to  brad burget
6 years ago

It’s actually an odd mix of both private and public schools from DC and suburban Maryland. The official meet name is Washington Metropolitan Interscholastic Swimming and Diving Championships — it’s known locally just as “Metros”. The Northern Virginia schools compete in Virginia-only championship meets.

Barbotus
Reply to  brad burget
6 years ago

Replying to what I think was Brad Burget’s question. If you were asking about he meet described in the article here then DBELL is correct. If you were asking about which state CoachGB was referencing, that’s NJ. They have an odd dual-meet bracket playoff format for team state championships, and an individual Meet of Champions for individual championships.

Let’s just say that CoachGB is not a fan of this playoff format.

REAL DEAL
Reply to  CoachGB
6 years ago

Amazing swim Katie to a well deserved, hard working, dedicated athlete!

Now to Keep it Real with CoachGB comments:
“STOP MISLEADING PEOPLE!!!” Same Allegiance to HS and Club??? NOT A CHANCE. Coach GB is clearly either a parent or a high school coach…. Not a “real” club coach. There is no way that Katie is attending all her high school meets. I bet she swims in very few and certainly doesn’t miss any training for a high school meet.

Her Coach, rightfully so, would not let her swim in NCSA Jr. Nationals b/c the meet was beneath her!! Everyone made a big deal out of Missy Franklin swimming high school and it turns out she did 2-3 high… Read more »

Admin
Reply to  REAL DEAL
6 years ago

REAL DEAL – I think most people on this board know who CoachGB is…and if you did too, you would feel kind of dumb about your accusations. While everyone can surely be wrong, regardless of what they’ve accomplished…his resume is big enough as an athlete and a coach that his opinions are certainly taken with respect around here.

Take a deep breath, and try to have a real conversation without so many capital letters, like everyone else is doing. It’s much more productive.

Ok
Reply to  Braden Keith
6 years ago

Braden…If CoachGB is who you imply….Bruce….then ok foot in mouth…. but I can’t imagine why he would make that statement. I just don’t believe that there is the same commitment to HS as to club. Just get tired of seeing messages like that b/c it implies that HS swimming is just as important as club. You can’t get to the top of the sport without practicing a minimum of 11 months a year (club). And look…. didn’t use ALL CAPS.

Admin
Reply to  Ok
6 years ago

It’s not Bruce Gemmell. But it’s a coach/former swimmer of similar ilk, with a significant background in coaching college and club swimming. He’s in the Hall of Fame. If he wants to tell you who he is, he’s welcome to.

See, the way you laid it out there is MUCH more appealing. Now I understand what you’re saying!

Ok
Reply to  Ok
6 years ago

Ok. I know who he is now and I understand why he commented the way he did now knowing the position in his career that he is at now (retired). Guess I just reacted…..

Jay
Reply to  REAL DEAL
6 years ago

Katie swam in a lot more than 2-3 meets each year for Stone Ridge.

Lane Four
6 years ago

One more feather in her cap. I am drooling for the summer season. Katie is spoiling all of us!

6 years ago

This is a brand new level of WTF.

Lane Four
Reply to  Michael Scott Schwartz
6 years ago

Amen to that, Michael! You said it in a nutshell.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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