Ledecky’s World Record Highlights Indy Pro Swim Series Day 1


The 2018 TYR Pro Swim Series – Indianapolis got off to a wild start on Wednesday night from the IUPUI Natatorium, as the opening heat produced a massive world record breaking performance.

It was none other than Katie Ledecky, the five-time Olympic gold medalist and 14-time world champion, who stunningly blew by her own world mark in the women’s 1500 freestyle. Swimming in her first race as a professional athlete after a two-year stint in the NCAA with the Stanford Cardinal, the 21-year-old knocked exactly five seconds off her world record in a time of 15:20.48. Her previous best was done at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, where she went 15:25.48. After many thought the native of Bethesda, Maryland had stagnated with her performances at the 2017 World Championships, that is clearly not the case. For a point of reference, she won the gold medal in a time of 15:31.82 last summer in Budapest.

This swim feels reminiscent to Ledecky’s 800 free world record done in early 2016, when she went 8:06.68 at the Austin Pro Swim for her first ‘in-season’ world record. Read more on her world record swim here, and watch the race video here.

Teenage standout Erica Sullivan from the Sandpipers of Nevada took the runner-up spot in 16:09.88, over 49 seconds back. Hannah Moore of the Wolfpack Elite was 3rd, and Leah Smith was notably back in 6th. Check out the full top-8 below.

Women’s 1500m Freestyle Top 8

  1. Katie Ledecky, Stanford, 15:20.48
  2. Erica Sullivan, Sandpipers of Nevada, 16:09.88
  3. Hannah Moore, Wolfpack Elite, 16:15.37
  4. Megan Byrnes, Unattached (Stanford), 16:20.23
  5. Ashley Neidigh, Unattached (Mvn), 16:21.62
  6. Leah Smith, Tucson Ford, 16:22.37
  7. Madelyn Donohoe, The Fish, 16:26.94
  8. Cassy Jernberg, Indiana Swim Team, 16:27.24

For the men, Zane Grothe of the Mission Viejo Natadores pulled away from Marcelo Acosta around the 600m mark and never looked back, winning easily in 15:05.31. Grothe actually negative the split the race, flipping at 7:33.78 at the 750 and coming back in 7:31.53.

Logan Houck from the Sandpipers of Nevada ended up 2nd in 15:17.42, with PJ Ransford 3rd and Acosta 4th. Check out the full top-8 below.

Men’s 1500m Freestyle Top 8

  1. Zane Grothe, Mission Viejo, 15:05.31
  2. Logan Houck, Sandpipers of Nevada, 15:17.42
  3. PJ Ransford, Club Wolverine, 15:24.69
  4. Marcelo Acosta, University of Louisville, 15:26.68
  5. Ricardo Vargas, Club Wolverine, 15:29.72
  6. Brennan Gravley, Sandpipers of Nevada, 15:32.50
  7. Felix Auboeck, Club Wolverine, 15:44.41
  8. T.C. Smith, University of Louisville, 15:46.79

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4 years ago

Nice swim for Zane! I think it might be a LTB for him. It will be tough to bet against Zane this summer in anything from 200-1500….great attitude and work ethic!!!

4 years ago

Notice she is on the psych sheet for the 100m and 400m tomorrow, Will she also be doing the 200m and 800m? Get tired just writing this! lol

4 years ago

When one visits Downtown Chicago he/she finds nothing spectacular about Sears/ Willis tower. Just one skyscraper among another even more magnificent ones. But if to drive about 25 miles North and to look back nothing will be seen on horizon but this tower only. People need time to comprehend what Katie just did today.

4 years ago

I don’t think Jan. 2016 was the first time Ledecky did an “in season” WR. In June 2014, she swam a meet at The Woodlands and broke her own 800/1500 WRs.

4 years ago

59.7 in the last 100. Incredible.

4 years ago

Note: Ledecky’s first 800m split of 8:11.70 is almost a FULL SECOND faster than what she swam to win the individual 800m free at Worlds in Budapest (8:12.68) last year

Reply to  SEAN17
4 years ago

And faster than anyone else has ever gone in the 800 right? Incredible.

4 years ago

What about Mariah Denigan’s mile? A 16:37 means that she’s in the top 20 for 13-14 all-time in the USA, and a solid 20 second drop to start off the meet.

Go Bearcats
4 years ago

Does she get a bonus for a WR? I forget what meet offers cash to people who break WRs.

Reply to  Go Bearcats
4 years ago

I know the world cup does a $10k WR bonus. Not sure if Pro-Series does something similar.

Reply to  sven
4 years ago

Nothing in the SwimSwam article mentioning a WR bonus. https://swimswam.com/whats-stake-2018-pro-swim-series/

Shame, otherwise she could have done what Sergey Bubka used to do and just shave off a second each time hoovering up WR bonuses (he broke the pole vault WR 17 times!).

Reply to  Go Bearcats
4 years ago

It’s common in many sports for sponsors to offer performance bonuses, so I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s got a swimsuit contract with that kind of language.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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