The 2015 Bucetto’s Open Indiana Senior Circuit Swim Meet at Indiana University is the landing spot for American superstar Katie Ledecky and several of her NCAP teammates on her return trip from the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
Last year, that stop was in the Woodlands, Texas, where she broke two World Records at an otherwise standard senior invitational meet, and while she didn’t reach quite that high on day 1 in Indiana, she once again stole the show.
Ledecky started the day with an 8:16.40 in the 800 meter freestyle, which topped her 15-year old teammate Isabella Rongione (8:46.32) by 30 seconds.
While that’s still about five seconds slower than Ledecky was a year ago, it was the second-fastest time ever swum in the month of June: a period where swimmers typically aren’t peaking. Most women not named ‘Katie Ledecky’ need a peak to swim 8:16.
Ledecky was on-pace to challenge her own World Record, and was within half-a-second of her record pace from last year through 500 meters. From that point on, however, she fell well off of the split comparison.
The swim wasn’t her season-best, but she’s still the only swimmer under 8:21 globally this year.
Ledecky wasn’t the only standout, or even the only Olympian, who races on Thursday evening. Her teammate and training partner Andrew Gemmell won the men’s 1500 free in 15:24.85, 11 seconds ahead of Matthew Hirschberger (15:35.19).
Most of the rest of the day was made up of sprint events (50 back, 50 breast, 50 fly, 50 free), which were primarily dominated by Indiana swimmers.
Among the highlights of those sprint races was a 33.58 from Carmel Swim Club 17-year old Kendall Smith, which won the race by a second-and-a-half. Her previous best time in that race was 36.20. She’s within reach of her first Olympic Trials standards in two other events (100 free, 100 breaststroke) this weekend after swimming well in the 50 breaststroke; she’s close to the standard in the 50 free, but didn’t swim the event on Thursday.
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