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.