Katie Ledecky to defer enrollment at Stanford until fall of 2016

Olympic champ and all-world distance swimmer Katie Ledecky will defer her freshman season at Stanford University, instead staying at her Nation’s Capital Swim Club training base through the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The move had been widely speculated ever since Ledecky gave Stanford a verbal commitment one year ago. Ledecky is currently the most red-hot female swimmer on the planet, continuing to smash world records in the 400, 800 and 1500 frees while moving into the elite tier of the 200 as well.

Deferring will allow Ledecky to continue training with coach Bruce Gemmell, who has helped her shatter all of those records at Nation’s Capital (NCAP). The NCAP training site that houses Ledecky and Gemmell also just hired big-time age group coach Sue Chen, and should only be getting stronger as a club in the leadup to the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials and the Rio Olympics.

Ledecky’s decision to defer means that the top 2 prospects in her class will postpone their freshman seasons. Sprinter Abbey Weitzeil has already decided to defer her enrollment at Cal.

Here is the full press release from Ledecky’s high school, Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, announcing her deferral:


Olympic Gold Medalist swimmer Katie Ledecky of Bethesda, Maryland, a senior at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, announced today that she will be deferring her enrollment at Stanford University for one year, until the Fall of 2016.  In making this announcement, Ledecky issued the following statement:

“After careful consideration and joint discussion with both my current club coach, Bruce Gemmell of Nation’s Capital Swim Club, and Stanford coach Greg Meehan, I have decided to defer my enrollment at Stanford for one year so that I may continue my training in my home environment in Maryland leading up to the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials. I greatly appreciate the understanding, support, and guidance I received from both Coach Gemmell and Coach Meehan in helping me to reach this decision. I am thrilled and excited to be admitted to Stanford, and I very much look forward to my enrollment there as a student in the Fall of 2016 and swimming in NCAA competition as a member of Coach Meehan’s Stanford team. I also feel so fortunate that both Coach Gemmell and Coach Meehan will be serving as coaches on the USA Swimming National team staff for this summer’s World Championships.”

Ledecky, 18, won the Olympic Gold medal in the 800 Meter Freestyle event as a 15-year-old and as the youngest athlete in the entire Team USA delegation at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.  She is the current World Record holder in the 400 Meter Freestyle, 800 Meter Freestyle, and 1500 Meter Freestyle events, and the American Record holder in the 500 Yard Freestyle and 1650 Yard Freestyle. While a high school student at Stone Ridge, Ledecky won ten gold medals in major international competition–including four at the 2013 World Championships and five at the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships–and she broke World Records seven times and American Records thirteen times during her high school years.

She has been named USA Swimming’s Athlete of the Year for the past two years, and was named the U.S. Olympic Committee Sportswoman of the Year in 2013. She has qualified to compete in five events for the USA Swimming National Team at the 2015 World Championships this summer in Kazan, Russia.

In high school swimming, Ledecky was a three-time Washington Post All-Met Swimmer of the Year, a 14-time high school All-American, and a member of the Stone Ridge Gators team coached by Bob Walker that won the Independent School League Championship in 2013 and was undefeated in league competition. Ledecky holds the National High School records in the 200 Yard Freestyle and 500 Yard Freestyle events. Ledecky, a high honors student and a USA Swimming Scholastic All-American, will graduate from Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart on June 4.

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7 years ago

A year or two in college and then turn pro – basketball and football scholarship ‘students’ do it every year. Missy Franklin did the college bit and left when she had had enough . Katie may stay longer and may graduate but Missy leaving college is done every year just not by athletes as well known as Missy and Katie are.

7 years ago

according to some posts on Stanford’s sports message boards Katie McLaughlin will also be deferring (kal) in order to train for Rio. source quoted there as being from Katie & her coach.

haven’t come across any official announcement yet maybe Swimswam will break this story?

Philip Johnson
7 years ago

Ledecky will most likely be in her prime come next year. I say cash in

Gina Rhinestone
7 years ago

My bet is she is heading towards a legal eagle career & a bit of time out mentally might be beneficial or it might set up later frustrations . It is a looooong road . I’d be wanting to getting it started asap as she is still going to win a few golds .

A year is 5-6 % of your life at 18 & whichever way it is used , that energy will never be equalled again in your life . Even by 23 people have faded mentally & physically & by 26 it is basically over .

7 years ago

Problem is, one year is only like 10 months in Ledecky Time.

7 years ago


High Performance Coach
7 years ago


bobo gigi
7 years ago

Finally official.
Yes Danjohnrob, I’m happy. 🙂

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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