Ledecky Out of 1500 on Day 5 of Nats, Will Still Have Worlds Spot


Katie Ledecky will not be swimming the 1500 free today, but she retains her slot in the event at Worlds. Like in the 50 stroke events, the selection procedure for the women’s 1500 free allows for a swimmer who doesn’t compete in the event at Nationals to swim the event at worlds.

The United States’s first slot in the women’s 1500 will go to the top finisher tonight. The second slot in the event will be “chosen from already-qualified athletes based on world ranks.” Check and check for Ledecky.

Ledecky’s scratch could potentially give a new swimmer who hasn’t yet qualified for the team a guaranteed spot on the Worlds roster. However, likely, the slot will be filled by the University of Virginia veteran Leah Smith, who (very surprisingly) has not swam a 1500 since 2014. Smith has already qualified for the team in the 200 free, 400 free, 800 free, 400 IM, and 4×200 free relay (!!). She will not be swimming with finals, according to the heat sheet, due to her yards seed time. Her heat is scheduled to start at 4:30 pm.

Other scratches for the 1500 free this afternoon and tonight include Michigan distance standout G Ryan and 16-year-old Erica Sullivan (both of whom we picked to make the top 8). York YMCA’s Courtney Harnish is also a scratch.

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Title is totally incorrect. She’s out on Day 5 of World Trials, not Worlds.

Janet Cranmer

Isn’t that what the title says?


Why wouldn’t she swim and try a different tactics to see how they affect her race? Say if she would have gone super easy like her warm own swim, what her time would be compared to others. Thoughts?


Once read that every 3-4 months you can have a great 1500 for how much it taxes your energy systems if you swim it right. She and her coach probably decided that dealing with pressure at trials to break the world record isnt necessary. Even though she has proven time and time again that she can swim great 1500s back to back, nice to have a little break. Should be fast in Bupapest!

NM Coach

I read once…way back, that Salnikov felt he could do a world class 1500 every six months.


It isn’t just energy systems, its the nervous system too – I used to joke it took at least a month for my body to forget how miserable the mile is and go in naively fresh.

Janet Cranmer

US NATIONALS and especially with this serving as Trials for Worlds, isn’t a place for experimentation. Others there are swimming this important meet for best times and even as their dream meet and swimming anything but her best would be demeaning to many. Of course, she will be criticized regardless, it comes with the territory. However, conserving energy and rest is just as important for Ledecky since Budapest travel is only 2 weeks away. Just an extra day of relaxing, eating on her time, stretching out, and sleeping in her own bed helps. While it is an honor, international travel is tough on the athletes. It is ridiculous for anyone to second guess the decision of this successful athlete and… Read more »


Perfect ⭐️


She’s Katie ledecky. Enough said


I am not a fan of this selection process

About Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht grew up in Kansas and spent most of her childhood trying to convince coaches to let her swim backstroke in freestyle sets. She took her passion to Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa and swam at NAIA Nationals all four years. After graduating in 2015, she moved to …

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