Stanford Wins Pac-12 400 FR Relay with New NCAA, American Record


The Stanford women closed out the 2017 Pac-12 Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships with a bang. In the 400 free relay, the Cardinal squad of Simone Manuel, Katie Ledecky, Janet Hu, and Lia Neal came together to win gold in a new NCAA and American Record time of 3:08.51, clipping a few hundredths off the former record set by Stanford at the 2015 NCAA Championships. With that, they also accomplished a sweep of the 2017 Pac-12 relay titles.

Stanford 400 Free Relay Splits Comparison:

Team 1st 100 Split 2nd 100 Split 3rd 100 Split 4th 100 Split Final Time
Stanford 2017 Simone Manuel– 46.47 Katie Ledecky– 48.10 Janet Hu– 47.49 Lia Neal– 46.45 3:08.51
Stanford 2015 Lia Neal– 46.84 Janet Hu– 47.98 Lindsey Engel– 47.93 Simone Manuel– 45.79 3:08.54

The biggest difference maker was Hu, who was almost a half second faster tonight than she was on the 2015 record-setting relay. As a freshman in 2015, Hu split a 47.98 on the 2nd leg of the relay. Tonight, she took on the 3rd leg, splitting a 47.49.

Manuel’s leadoff split of 46.47 was a few tenths faster than Neal’s 46.84 on the 2015 relay, but Neal’s 46.45 on tonight’s relay was about 7 tenths shy of Manuel’s legendary 45.79 anchor leg in 2015. We could see the Cardinal switch up the order at NCAAs, as Neal has put up some strong performances as the leadoff swimmer in the past.

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4 years ago

Great swim but here’s something crazy that I’ll probably never say again, but ledecky was kind of a liability on that. Slowest split from a flying start on any of the top three relays. Obviously it’s not really an event in her wheelhouse but you don’t see ledecky being the slowest oftentimes.

Reply to  Klorn8d
4 years ago

Just goes to show Stanford’s amazing success is not entirely due to Ledecky…many Stanford swimmers are absolutely on fire at this meet. NCAAs is going to be so much fun to watch.

Reply to  Klorn8d
4 years ago

Agreed. And the truth is– there are other Stanford women that are faster sprinters than Ledecky. Eastin could put up a 47.9 relay split. In other words, if coaches were being firm about times, she should be left off this relay. But not gonna happen.

Megan Rory
Reply to  Klorn8d
4 years ago

True, but trust me, as a former 400 IMer, doing that event twice the day before is a KILLER

Reply to  Klorn8d
4 years ago

Ledecky couldn’t even get on 4×100 free relay at OT being #7 with 53.99 time. And then two 52.6, 52.7 splits followed completely unexpected. Probably because of her hard training the tapering process is very effective in her case. I hope she will be faster in March and her relay participation at this meet isn’t because she is Ledecky but because coaches value her reliability and believe that that will be the best tapered team they can assemble.

Reply to  Prickle
4 years ago

Absolutely – Given her taper/rest history she will be on the relay and NCAAs and will split 47. low. Can this relay go sub 3:07? It will be close!

Kirk Nelson
Reply to  Prickle
4 years ago

Agreed. This is the conference meet, no NCs. She’ll split a second faster next month.

Reply to  Klorn8d
4 years ago

…or she just didn’t have that great of a swim on that day?

Reply to  coacherik
4 years ago

People are forgetting she had 2 400IM and 2 2 200 Frees the day before.

Jay Day
4 years ago

Ledecky was like I’ll give you guys the front half of my 200

4 years ago

Ledecky was out faster at the 50 anchoring the 4×200 relay…spinning her wheels maybe? I feel like there is no reason she cant be 47 low in this relay given another month’s speed work/rest.

Coach Mike 1952
4 years ago

The voting links seem to have disappeared. Have they been removed? Thank you.

Reply to  Coach Mike 1952
4 years ago

[Thumbs up]

4 years ago

Hallelujah! The moment when you find actual race videos!!!

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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