Ledecky Does It Again with 4:26.4 500 FR for New NCAA, American Records

Stanford freshman Katie Ledecky has been looking as dominant as ever in her first few months as an NCAA swimmer. For the 3rd time in 6 days, she just broke an NCAA, American, and U.S. Open Record. In the morning session, Ledecky already lowered the NCAA mark with a 4:27.54 in prelims. That took down the previous mark of 4:30.37 done by Virginia’s Leah Smith at the 2015 NCAA Championships.

During day 1 finals at the Ohio State Invitational, Ledecky broke her own NCAA Record from prelims, clocking a 4:26.46 in the 500 free. With that, she also broke the American Record as well and the U.S. Open Record for the fastest time done by any swimmer of any nationality on U.S. soil. She finished a tenth under the 4:26.58 she did at the 2015 D.C. Metro High School Championships that was the previous record. A look at the splits will show that Ledecky’s improvement came mostly in the middle 300 of the race. This morning, she held 54-lows throughout that portion of the race. Tonight, however, she was consistently in the 53-range.

Splits Comparison:

Swimmer 1st 100 2nd 100 3rd 100 4th 100 5th 100 Final Time
Katie Ledecky 2016 (finals) 51.77 53.91 53.91 53.59 53.28 4:26.42
Katie Ledecky 2016 (prelims) 51.64 54.48 54.05 54.16 53.21 4:27.54
Leah Smith 2015 51.35 54.38 55.03 55.32 54.29 4:30.37

At midseason, she’s now broken the NCAA Records in 2 events, as she also took down the 1000 free record in Stanford’s dual meet against Texas last week. At that meet, she clocked a 9:10.49 to clear Smith’s previous record of 9:20.15 by 10 seconds. She also took down a 26-year-old Avery Aquatic Center Pool Record that was previously held by Janet Evans.

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4 years ago

Already excited to see how low this record goes at Pac 12s and NCAAs

Reply to  Joe
4 years ago


4 years ago

4:00 at next dual meet

Reply to  PACFAN
4 years ago

Then a 3:57 at Pac 12s and finally a 3:49.99 at NCAAs

4 years ago


About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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