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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Joe
4 years ago

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

PVK
Reply to  Joe
4 years ago

4:23.56

PACFAN
4 years ago

4:00 at next dual meet

Person
Reply to  PACFAN
4 years ago

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

Sam
4 years ago

I WAS THERE

Spectatorn
4 years ago

Her time puts her 9th in the men’s race at the Georgia Tech Invitational, two-tenth ahead of Maxime Rooney 🙂

North
4 years ago

LEGEND

DMacNCheez
4 years ago

Think about this. The difference between Ledecky’s American Record 500 (4:26.46) and Peter Vanderkaay’s American Record 500 (4:08.54) is 17.92 seconds. Now if you divide that by 5, the difference per 100 is 3.58 seconds. Now add that to Dressel’s 100 free American Record (40.46) and you get 44.04 for a women’s 100 free. I have no idea what this means but it scares me.

Rookery
Reply to  DMacNCheez
4 years ago

Nothing. It means nothing.

Drock
Reply to  DMacNCheez
4 years ago

Take other womens/mens records and compare them like that. Im too lazy… but the results could be interesting. In theory womens records should catch up to mens eventually

Sven
Reply to  DMacNCheez
4 years ago

I think the difference in strength and power between male and female athletes is greater than the difference in aerobic capacity between male and female athletes. For example, per Conor Dwyer and many others, Katie can hang with the elite guys in practice, but when you compare their times in races (where strength and power play a bigger part), they are well ahead of her.

With this in mind, I don’t think one can say that the difference between a male and female in the 100 free would scale the same as 100’s on the 500 do.

Drock
Reply to  Sven
4 years ago

I would agree with you if we were talking about averages… but dont be surprised if a girl breaks 20 in the 50 in the next 5 years. Everything just needs to fall into place.

Rookery
Reply to  Drock
4 years ago

zero percent chance of that happening

Murica
Reply to  Drock
4 years ago

ABBEY

Uberfan
Reply to  Drock
4 years ago

A girl hasn’t even broken 21

Person
Reply to  Drock
4 years ago

I mean… probably not in the next 5 years

Nick
4 years ago

Does anyone have the 50 Free Final results? Live Results didn’t show.
And how about the relay split for 400 Medley Relay?

Rookery
Reply to  Nick
4 years ago

Zhesi Li beat Simone 21.7 to 21.82. Neal 3rd 22.21. Manuel split 47.27 on the relay

Nick
Reply to  Rookery
4 years ago

Thanks a lot. Can you please post the splits for other legs? Thanks.

Rookery
Reply to  Nick
4 years ago

Ally Howe 51.45
Kim Williams 1:00.69
Janet Hu 50.22
Simone Manuel 47.27

Rookery
Reply to  Rookery
4 years ago

Notably, Poppe was a 1:00.20 breast on the B and Ledecky anchored the C in 48.66. Eastin also split faster then Williams on the C (1:00.48)

Nick
Reply to  Rookery
4 years ago

It’s better than I expected from these 3 breaststroke swimmers. But we would need Hasse-like result from last year with 56s in relay and 57s in flat start.

2 A&M swimmers went 59s in 100 Br with flat start. Hope Poppe and Williams got it done this season.

CraigH
Reply to  Rookery
4 years ago

Janet Hu’a Junior campaign is looking very promising. I’m starting to like her as a dark horse for either the 100 fly or 100 back NCAA title.

Sven
4 years ago

Not bad.

Person
Reply to  Sven
4 years ago

Not bad at all.

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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