This morning, Katie Ledecky swam a smooth 4:03.67 in the 400 meter freestyle prelims at the visitbloomington.com Bucceto’s Open Meet at Indiana University. Tonight, she rocked a 4:01.81 en route to a victory. That time gives her the 2nd fastest time done this year after her own swim from the Arena Pro Swim Series at Austin back in January.
A look at her comparative splits from prelims to finals:
Ledecky, prelims: 59.13/1:01.54/1:01.78/1:01.22
Ledecky, finals: 58.73/1:01.29/1:01.42/1:00.37
She was faster by at least a couple tenths in each 100, but the largest drops were in the first and last 100. According to the USA Swimming times database, this is the sixth fastest swim Ledecky has ever had in the 400 free. Her four fastest times were all under four minutes, and each of those swims came from either a US National meet or a big-time international meet. The fifth fastest time is the 4:00.47 from earlier this year.
In June of 2013, before the World Championships, she was 4:04.05. That was at US Summer Nationals. Just over a year ago, she touched at 4:03.09 at the TWST Senior Invitational (you know, that “random” early summer meet where she decided to completely destroy her World Record in the 1500 free). In 2013, she tapered down to 3:59.82. Last year, she tapered down to 3:58.37. Does this 4:01 mean that she’s got another second (or MORE?!) to go come Kazan? Time will tell.
Finishing second in that race was a name that we all might need to look out for in the near future: Emma Nordin. Coming into the meet with a lifetime best of 4:20.83 from this past May (she had never been under 4:25 until the Arena Pro Swim Series at Charlotte where she nearly broke 4:20 twice), tonight Nordin sliced 7.35 seconds off of her prelims swim to touch with a new lifetime best by over four seconds (4:16.54). According to USA Swimming’s All-Time rankings in the 15-16 girls in this event, she knocks Madison Homovich off of the list in this event and takes her place as #100. Note that the rankings are only updated through 6/4/2015, so she might not have made the top 100. Nonetheless, she’s only 15, and has over a year before she ages up out of the 15-16 age group.
While Ledecky was completely in her element in that race, she couldn’t pull off the win in an earlier race in the session. Beating her to the wall in the 100 free was Kelsi Worrell, the American record holder in the 100y fly. Worrell, who is also a fantastic sprint freestyler, was out in a 26.57, enough to hold off a late charge from Ledecky for the win. Worrell notched a personal best of 55.23 with that swim. After today’s two swims in prelims, Worrell has swam her six fastest 100 free times ever in LCM just in 2015.
Ledecky, who came home exactly five tenths faster than Worrell, settled for 2nd (55.48). Finishing up in 3rd and 4th with impressive times were Notre Dame’s Catherine Mulquin (56.50) and Carmel Swim Club’s Claire Adams (56.70). Before today, Mulquin had never gotten under 57.8, so that was a huge swim for her.
Another exciting race came at the end of the session, the men’s 400 free. After Ledecky’s blowout win just minutes earlier, NCAP veteran Andrew Gemmell, son of Ledecky’s coach Bruce Gemmell, went head-to-head with another NCAP distance star, the 16-year-old Matthew Hirschberger. At the final turn, Hirschberger was actually in the lead– 3:29.67 to 3:29.77. However, the experienced Gemmell pushed that last 50 hard and came out on top, 3:58.17 to 3:58.24.
The men’s 100 free was won by Blake Pieroni by a solid 1.52 second margin. The rising Indiana University sophomore, who is also rising in the ranks of the United States’ best 100/200 freestylers, took the event with a 50.66. The next best finisher was 18-year-old Kyle DeCoursey with a 52.18.
High school junior-to-be Hannah Kukurugya pulled off a big win in the 200 fly, taking the title by almost three seconds (2:11.86) over NCAP’s Isabella Rongione (2:14.69). IU rising junior Gia Dalesandro grabbed third place (2:15.70). On the men’s side, it was 17-year-0ld Zach Harting who finished on top with a time of 2:03.20.
Claire Adams, who finished 4th earlier in the 100 free, took a 2nd place finish in the 200 back (2:16.55). She fell short of IU’s Rachel Matsumura, who took the event in 2:15.60. Louisville Cardinal Nolan Tesone won the men’s 200 back in 2:06.18, beatin Logan Oatman (2:08.68) handily.
Meet Mobile has full results for this meet. Search “Bloomington.”