Reported by James Sutherland.
Katie Ledecky: “It felt like a great race, I’ve been slightly improving throughout the spring. I’m certainly growing my confidence in this race. Year after year we are strong in this event … I think we’re going to put together another good relay.”
WOMEN’S 200 FREE FINALS
- American Record: 1:53.61, Allison Schmitt, 2012
- U.S. Open Record: 1:54.40, Allison Schmitt, 2012
- LC National Meet Record: 1:54.40, Allison Schmitt, 2012
- FINA ‘A’ Standard: 1:58.68
- Katie Ledecky, STAN, 1:54.84
- Leah Smith, CAV, 1:56.68
- Melanie Margalis, SPA, 1:56.90
- Mallory Comerford, UOFL, 1:56.95
- Simone Manuel, STAN, 1:57.11
- Cierra Runge, WA, 1:57.71
To no one’s surprise Katie Ledecky got out ahead from the gun and never looked back, touching the wall in a time of 1:54.84 to become the first woman under 1:55 this year.
Behind her, the battle for second was fierce. Leah Smith sat 2nd the whole way, but had to fend off late charges from Melanie Margalis and Mallory Comerford at the finish. She managed to do it, touching in 1:56.68 to Margalis’ 1:56.90 and Comerford’s 1:56.95. Ledecky and Smith add this event to the 800 they qualified in last night, while Margalis and Comerford earn automatic relay berths.
Simone Manuel closed well in 29.73 to snag 5th and likely earn a prelim relay spot, as will Cierra Runge in 6th.
Despite disappointingly missing the A-final this morning, Katie McLaughlin had a great swim in the B-final to out-touch Gabby DeLoof by 0.01, 1:58.57 to 1:58.58. Brooke Forde also had a great swim in 1:58.85. York YMCA teammates Courtney Harnish (2:00.49) and Leah Braswell (2:00.81) went 1-2 in the C-final.