Ledecky Hits Fifth-Best 1500 Time Ever to Kick Off Pro Swim Series – Des Moines


Katie Ledecky had a great swim to start off the Des Moines stop of the 2020 Pro Swim Series, collecting the 1500 free victory with a 15:29.51. That’s the fifth-best performance she’s ever had, with her best being a 15:20.48 from the 2018 Pro Swim Series stop in Indianapolis. That meet was in May, and that time set the World Record.


  1. 15:20.48 – 2018 Pro Swim Series – Indianapolis
  2. 15:25.48 – 2015 World Champs
  3. 15:27.71 – 2015 World Champs
  4. 15:28.36 – 2014 Pan Pacs
  5. 15:29.51 – 2020 Pro Swim Series – Des Moines
  6. 15:31.82 – 2017 World Champs

Of course, this is also the fifth-best performance ever, by anybody.

This is the best she’s looked since that swim in Indy. She still would go on to win 2018 Pan Pac Gold in this race by over 20 seconds, but her time was almost ten seconds slower than tonight (15:38.97). Her fastest time in 2019 wasn’t until the very end of the calendar year when she won the U.S. Open (formerly U.S. Winter Nationals) title in 15:35.98. Last summer at the 2019 World Champs, Ledecky fell ill during the meet and only swam prelims (15:48.90).

Second tonight was Tucson Ford Dealer Aquatics’ Leah Smith in 16:16.34 and third, also under 16:30, was Chile’s Kristel Kobrich (16:22.35). 16-year-old Mariah Denigan of Lakeside Swim Team nabbed fourth (16:35.22). There were only six participants in this event on the women’s side.

On the men’s side, 18-year-old Arik Katz of Sarasota Tsunami took down a field of veterans with a time of 15:10.94, just five seconds off of his lifetime best. The incoming Harvard freshman had his third-best performance ever, his best being a 15:05.93 from 2019 Summer Nationals. Second went to Team Santa Monica’s Jordan Wilimovsky at 15:12.49, with Wolfpack Elite’s Akaram Mahmoud (15:16.56) in third and Boulder City Henderson Heatwave’s Zane Grothe fourth at 15:28.16.

Katz was actually behind Wilimovsky, Mahmoud, and Grothe for most of the race. Holding 30’s for most of the race, Katz held in fourth, then dropped a 29.9 at the 1150 mark before jumping back up to 30s. At 1350, he was 29.72 to Mahmoud’s 30.86, overtaking him. At 1400, He was 29.99 to Wilimovsky’s 30.35, overtaking him. Katz was 28.97 on the penultimate 50 as Mahmoud and Wilimovsky hovered at 30s, then Katz was 28.26 to hold off Wilimovsky (28.43).

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11 months ago

Way to go Arik!

Reply to  SWIMMOM
11 months ago

Why would someone down vote this? Geez he is a kid.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Mark
11 months ago

But she’s a mom.

Bear Down
11 months ago

Wow Katz with a surprising win! I think he broke his foot in the fall and was out of the water. Very impressive.

Reply to  Bear Down
11 months ago

Yep he did I raced him a couple of months ago and it was his first meet back after breaking it

11 months ago

Ledecky is Back!!! Heck Yeah

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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