Katie Ledecky Takes Down American Record with 3:57.6 400 IM


Katie Ledecky rewrote another chapter of the American Record book on Friday night at the 2017 Pac-12 Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships. Ledecky, who typically makes headlines in the freestyle events, busted out a new American Record in the 400 IM. Her winning time of 3:57.68 lowered the previous record of 3:57.89 done by Cal’s Caitlin Leverenz, who went on to represent the U.S. in the event at the Olympics, in 2012.

Ledecky’s Splits By 100:

  • Fly- 55.18
  • Back- 1:00.33
  • Breast- 1:09.50
  • Free- 52.67
  • Final Time- 3:57.68

In tonight’s final, Ledecky went up against teammate Ella Eastin, who won the 400 IM and set and American Record in the 200 IM at last season’s NCAA Championships. Ledecky’s weakest point of the IM is probably her breaststroke leg, but she didn’t lose much ground in that portion of tonight’s race. Ledecky split a 1:09.50 on that leg, while Eastin split a 1:08.96. At the finish, Eastin wound up with the silver medal with a 4:00.96. The Cardinal swept the podium, as freshman Allie Szekely took 3rd in 4:02.34.

All-Time Top 10 Performances in History

  1. Katinka Hosszu, 3:56.54, 2012
  2. Katie Ledecky, 3:57.68, 2017
  3. Caitlin Leverenz, 3:57.89, 2012
  4. Maya DiRado, 3:58.12, 2014
  5. Julia Smit, 3:58.23, 2010
  6. Elizabeth Beisel, 3:58.35, 2012
  7. Ella Eastin, 3:58.40, 2016
  8. Caitlin Leverenz, 3:58.46, 2012
  9. Elizabeth Beisel, 3:58.84, 2014
  10. Katinka Hosszu, 3:58.86, 2011

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4 years ago

Actually Szekely took 3rd, not Byrnes.

4 years ago

400 IM is looking better than the 200 at NCAAs

Jim C
Reply to  Ragnar
4 years ago

Maybe both. She could swim the individual 400 IM and lead off the 4×200 free relay.

Reply to  Ragnar
4 years ago

Katie is in a very nice predicament. Based on tonight, both races seem winnable, although not a sure thing. Tapered and without a double, it seems both Katie and Simone could challenge Missy’s record in the 200, or at least break 1:40.

Reply to  northernsue
4 years ago

I believe both Simone manuel and Katie ledecky are already tapered. There no way you swim 1:40:3 in the 200 fully unrested.

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  Carlo
4 years ago

Possibly only “some” rest to allow swimmers & coaches to observe / experiment with recovery in relation to performance & times, etc. Remember KL’s comments from last year about only getting a little more rest & still setting WR’s? Only at the Olympic Games (OG) was she presumably fully tapered, & she hit both her target times (3:56 & 8:04) for 400 / 800. Too bad there wasn’t / still isn’t a 1500 at the OG. I mean really, the women swim the 10K at the OG but the IOC still harbors some outdated opinion that such a “long” race as a 1500 will hurt women? Go figure. And don’t get me started.

Reply to  Coach Mike 1952
4 years ago

On the topic of the 1500 for women I’ve said this before but there are many reasons why the women don’t swim the 1500 and even though it started for the reasons you mention that is not the case anymore. Saying that the IOC thinks women are incapable of swimming the 1500 yet they have the 10k is ridiculous, what sort of mental gymnastics do you need to believe such a thing I don’t know.

The main reason is money, the olympics make money and that is the reason it is televised and as big as it is. The 1500m does not keep people as interested as an 800m as far as I understand most if not all market studies… Read more »

Reply to  Carlo
4 years ago

I saw an interview with Katie Drabot and she said that she believed that none of the swimmers on the 800 free relay were tapered. If they are not, I assume Manuel is not. Taper is great, but as a swimmer, the hype from a big conference meet and teammates breaking records can lead to great swims.

Reply to  Carlo
4 years ago

I want to believe the same thing based on how fast they’re swimming, but I heard from people associated with the program that they have just started bringing yardage down and they were weights and power-racks the day before the Pac-12 meet started.

4 years ago

Seriously??? All I can say is wow.

Swimmer A
4 years ago

Holy. Crap.

4 years ago

So what do we think for NCAA’s? We know 500 and 1650, but does she go the 400 IM or 200 Free? I think she goes 400 IM.

Reply to  Shawn
4 years ago

Here’s the plan for NCAAs: Leadoff the 800 FR on Wed. night — 138.9 AR, NCAA Rec
Friday – swim 4IM. 3:55.9 to take down Hosszu’s AR/NCAA rec

Reply to  SwimGeek
4 years ago

She’s not breaking this 200 Free record… this year.

4 years ago

Just when you thought she couldn’t be more dominating, she pulled out a 400 IM. Katie Ledecky doing Katie Ledecky things.

Lane Four
4 years ago

And now it begins. Oh. My. God!

4 years ago

It was Allie Szekely not Megan Byrnes. Different Freshman.

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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