Katie Ledecky made jaws drop tonight with an incredible American record breaking 500 freestyle time of 4:26.58, but she wasn’t the only swimmer tearing up the pool on the first day of the DC Metro Championships.
Day 1 of the DC Metro Championships begins with 1-meter diving and prelims of the 500 freestyle and 400 freestyle relay.
In the first event, 16 year-old sophomore Matthew Hirschberger posted the top time of the session with his 4:17.13. Hirschberger recently made headlines for breaking Jeff Kostoff‘s long-standing 1650 freestyle NAG record. His 1650 record didn’t stand for long before Sean Grieshop lowered the record further. It seems that Hirschberger is on a mission now to break the 15-16 NAG record held by Grieshop at 4:16.59. Hirschberger’s time from this evening is the second fastest 15-16 500 yard freestyle ever swum. With two years of high school swimming still in front of him, Jack Conger‘s National Independent School Record of 4:13.67 may be in danger.
Hirschberger was the only swimmer to beat Ledecky’s 500 time from this evening, although one other was seeded faster than her time from tonight. It seems that the star swimmers from the NCAP club team were pretty aggressive during the prelim session, where some other big names may not have been. We will have to watch to see where Ledecky stacks up after the finals are said and done.
To finish in the top 10 in the men’s 500 freestyle took a 4:44.11 and to finish in the top 20 took a 4:51.96.
In the women’s 500 freestyle, Katie Ledecky broke the American Record, US Open Record, National HS Record, and 17-18 NAG Record with a incomprehensible time of 4:26.58. Blair sophomore Madison Waechter qualified second with a two second drop for her seed time at 5:47.43. Elaina Gu, a senior from Churchill AEHS, was the third and final swimmer under the 5 minute barrier this evening. She posted a time of 4:58.99.
To finish in the top 10 in the women’s 500 freestyle took a 5:07.81 and to finish in the top 20 took a 5:20.23.
Georgetown Prep claimed the top spot in the prelims of the 400 freestyle with their time of 3:07.74. 3:17.24 was the time it required to finish in the top 10.
Churchill posted a time of 3:31.44 to earn the top seed in the women’s 400 freestyle relay. Stone Ridge finished third thanks to a 48.26 anchor split from Katie Ledecky. To finish in the top 10 required a time of 3:39.86.
The second preliminary session will start tomorrow morning at 8:15 EST and the final session will begin at 5:30 EST.