Katie Ledecky’s Casual 4:28 This Weekend Was… Casual?

Everyone is used to fast swimming from Katie Ledecky, and although this summer she wasn’t at her peak form, this past weekend at the USA vs. Pac-12 Challenge, she threw down a sub-4:30 performance in the 500 free for what seems to be the umpteenth time.

Maybe it wasn’t the umpteenth time, but that swim marked Ledecky’s 13th time under the 4:30 mark in this race. Despite that swim being more than four seconds off of her lifetime best, it was still faster than what any woman has done, ever. Yes, the #2 performer in history in the 500 yard freestyle, Leah Smith, slots in with a 4:28.90, fifteen hundredths behind what Ledecky went this past weekend.

Ledecky also won the 1000 free in 9:11.68, the 200 free in 1:41.60, and had 48.35 and 1:42.41 splits on the Pac-12’s victorious 400 and 800 free relays, respectively. Her performances this weekend only serve as yet another reminder of just how great she is, and of how far ahead of the rest of the competition she continues to be.

Further, Ledecky put up these times after essentially taking the entire month of August off, she said in an interview with SwimSwam’s Coleman Hodges. She re-upped with the Stanford crew in September, which included a training trip to Hawai’i, and said she “threw on a suit” and had some fun with racing this weekend.

“I’m just gonna forget about them, and move on,” she said in regards to her times this weekend, saying that swims in October aren’t that important and that they shouldn’t distract her from championship season next spring. Ledecky reaffirmed that she was not disappointed with her 2017 summer season, and coming off of Worlds, she has “a good fire back” and will be moving forward with that mindset.

While Ledecky was off of her world record-breaking times this summer, she’s still swimming faster right now than anyone else in the world, and that’s something to be excited about regardless of the lofty expectations that have been placed on her shoulders.

Stanford’s NCAA season continues in two weeks, as they’ll face Oregon State on November 2nd followed by a clash with NC State on November 3rd in back-to-back dual meet action.

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9 Comments on "Katie Ledecky’s Casual 4:28 This Weekend Was… Casual?"

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Coach Mike 1952

Remember too that when she did the 8:59 for the 1,000 a while back, she negative split the race: “Maybe most impressive was that she was out in 4:30.90 to the 500 and actually negative split the race, coming home in 4:28.75 over the final 500 yards. As individual 500s, those would rank as the 8th and 5th fastest 500 yard freestyles in history. Nobody besides Ledecky herself has swum a 500 free faster than 4:28.75, and she did it immediately after swimming a 4:30.90.” https://swimswam.com/american-record-for-katie-ledecky-first-sub-900-1000-free-in-history/

Interesting that Ledecky can negative split it in SCY, because with a quick look at her LCM 800s I noticed that she can get close to an even split to win a major championship, but the World Records usually come with a fly and die style positive split 800. Her London win came with nearly a 10 second difference

The short pool must make it that tough for her to get going, or she really relies on her taper to be able to have any speed. And could go sub 8:50 if she wanted to make our jaws hurt from dropping too much


She was 15 in London. Her 400 splits in the 800 were much closer in Rio.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studies and swims at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and has been in the pool ever since. He misses Vine.

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