Leah Smith Becomes All-Time 2nd-Fastest 400 Free Textile Performer


Leah Smith of Virginia posted a 4:00.65 tonight in the 400 free to become the second-fastest textile performer in history.

She is now the fourth-fastest women’s 400 freestyle swimmer in history. The all-time top performers are below:

  1. Katie Ledecky, USA: 3:58.37 (2014)
  2. Federica Pellegrini, Italy: 3:59.15 (2009)
  3. Joanne Jackson, Great Britain: 4:00.60 (2009)
  4. Leah Smith, USA: 4:00.65

Smith is now the fastest ever non-Ledecky American 400 freestyler, and it’s important to note that both Pellegini and Jackson swam their landmark performances in the 2009 supersuit era.

The Americans now hold the top two swims in the world this year, a full three seconds ahead of the world.

2015-2016 LCM Women 400 Free

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Smith held onto Katie Ledecky‘s tail as the world record holder worked her way to 3:58.98, which just missed the world record. Smith maintained a position about a bodylength and a half behind Ledecky throughout the race.

Perhaps most amazingly, Smith split a faster second 200 than Ledecky, putting up splits of 1:58.16 and 2:02.49 compared to Ledecky’s 1:56.28 and 2:02.70.

Although her slot on the team is not official, Smith is very likely on her way to her first Olympic Games.

You can see the full results of the women’s 400 freestyle final here.

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Attila the Hunt
6 years ago

How is it criminal?

Kirk Nelson
6 years ago

Leah Smith had the swim of the meet so far, in my opinion. I didn’t expect anyone to be anywhere close to Ledecky.

6 years ago

I’m wondering how fast she’ll go in the 200

Attila the Hunt
6 years ago

Times do NOT Matter.
Why is Smith peaking at the trials!
What’s important is the Olympics!
She should be peaking for the Olympics only!
This is useless!

Reply to  Attila the Hunt
6 years ago

Shut up

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  Ervin
6 years ago

You shut up

Reply to  Attila the Hunt
6 years ago

You have no idea whether she’s peaking at Trials. She could easily go even faster in Rio.

6 years ago

This was my favorite race so far at the trials! I’ve been watching Leah Smith since the 2014 summer nationals in Irvine and told myself that she is going to make it to Rio and guess what……she sure as hell did! Love her and love Katie lets go #USA

Lane four
6 years ago

it drove me crazy that Rowdy kept saying she was now the 4th fastest performer in history.

6 years ago

while everyone else was watching ledecky, i was watching smith swim the 2nd 200 even faster than KL did. yes, check the statistics to back it up. my predictions is ledecies arrogance catches up with her at rio and ciera smith catches her in the race to take the gold medals and the worldrecord.

Reply to  shehulkswim
6 years ago

It’s gonna be tough for Ciera Smith to beat Katie in Rio since she won’t be there.

Reply to  MarkB
6 years ago

Interesting the NBAC distance girls are way down . I recall a poster saying in 2012 that they thought it was too mud altitude for a young girl (G Ryan in that case ).

Olivia S
6 years ago

“I saw Katie’s feet!” Quote of the night!

About Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht grew up in Kansas and spent most of her childhood trying to convince coaches to let her swim backstroke in freestyle sets. She took her passion to Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa and swam at NAIA Nationals all four years. After graduating in 2015, she moved to …

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