2018 US WINTER NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
- November 28th-December 1st, 2018
- Greensboro Aquatic Center, Greensboro, North Carolina
- Psych Sheets
As soon as the swimmers for the first heat of the women’s 800 freestyle walked to the blocks, it was pretty clear who the first USA swimmer to garner a 2020 Olympic Trials cut was likely to be. Katie Ledecky, the five-time Olympic gold medalist and 14-time World Championship gold medalist, and the owner of the 800 free world record (among others), stepped on the blocks in lane four.
8 minutes and 14.40 seconds later, Ledecky took her final stroke into the wall and punched her ticket to her third Olympic trials. That time, unsurprisingly, was well under the 8:48.09 that was the qualifying time for the event, and almost 14 seconds ahead of the next-fastest swimmer.
While most swim meets will run heats slow-to-fast, this evening’s session of the 2018 US Winter Nationals got things started with the fastest heat, meaning that despite her dominant win, Ledecky was far from the only star in the pool.
Six other women also recorded their Trials cuts in this one heat: Ashley Twichell, Erica Sullivan, Kaersten Meitz, Chase Travis, Emma Weyant, and Julia Hassler.
The next event up is the men’s 800 free. This event is new to the Olympic program for 2020, and thus the Olympic Trials, meaning that the first man to get his cut tonight will be the first male US swimmer ever to get a cut in that event.
Update: Jordan Wilimovsky became the first man to earn an OT cut with a 7:56.88 in the 800.