2016 ARENA PRO SWIM SERIES AT AUSTIN
With much of the attention (and rightly so) focused on Katie Ledecky’s performance last night, Leah Smith got overlooked. However, the University of Virginia swimmer put up an impressive 400 freestyle this morning. The 20-year old was 4:04.74 to take second.
That swim immediately propelled her to third in the world, behind only Ledecky and New Zealand’s Lauren Boyle. Smith has also pushed herself to the front of the list for the potential second Olympic spot in the 400 free.
The time was presumably swum unrested, as Smith is in the middle of her collegiate season and doesn’t have any other large scale competitions coming up.
The time was just short of Smith’s personal best of 4:04.66, which was done at last year’s World University Games during the preliminary rounds en route to an eventual gold medal.
Smith will be in action once again this morning, swimming the 200 free. If her performance is as good as her 400, it could have a huge potential ripple effect with Omaha just six months away. A surging Smith could really bolster the United States 4×200 squad as they go for gold in Rio.
Smith is also scheduled to swim the 800 freestyle later in the meet.