2018 U.S. NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Wednesday, July 25 – Sunday, July 29, 2018
- William Woollett Aquatics Center, Irvine, CA
- Prelims 9 AM / Finals 6 PM (U.S. Pacific Time)
- Meet website
- Meet information
- Event Order
- Full selection procedures
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Reported by Lauren Neidigh.
WOMEN’S 400 FREE:
- World Record: Katie Ledecky, 3:56.46, 2016
- American Record: Katie Ledecky, 3:56.46, 2016
- Championship Record: Katie Ledecky, 3:58.44, 2017
- U.S. Open Record: Katie Ledecky, 3:57.94, 2018
- GOLD: Katie Ledecky– 3:59.09
- SILVER: Leah Smith– 4:02.21
- BRONZE: Haley Anderson– 4:07.21
- FOURTH: Kaersten Meitz– 4:07.60
Katie Ledecky was under her own World Record pace until the final 50 meters, but fell off, still dominating in the 10th fastest performance ever in 3:59.09. With some more rest, her records look like they may be in trouble. Ledecky did set the U.S. Open Record earlier this year in 3:57.94.
As expected, fellow Olympic medalist Leah Smith was far ahead of the rest of the field in a 4:02.21 for 2nd. That’s her fastest time of the season by 2 seconds. Teammate Kirsten Jacobsen, who made a massive drop to qualify for this final, was a couple of seconds shy of her prelims time for 8th in 4:11.14.
Open water world champ Haley Anderson (4:07.21) and All-American Kaersten Meitz (4:07.60) battled closely for 3rd, with Anderson pulling ahead on the back half. Both broke 4:08 for the first time. Hali Flickinger, the 200 fly champ, was a couple of seconds off her best from a few weeks ago, when she swam a 4:06.72, taking 7th in 4:10.42. She can still swim the 400 free at Pan Pacs if she chooses, since she’s safely on the team. Flickinger is less than a second off the all-time American top 10 list with her best.
14-year-old phenom Claire Tuggle was out with the slight lead in the B final, but Olympic medalist Allison Schmitt popped off the 3rd wall to pull ahead. Schmitt held on for the win in 4:08.46, touching just ahead of a hard-charging Katie Drabot (4:08.96). Tuggle was just off her prelims time for 3rd in that heat with a 4:10.62.