Watch: Summer McIntosh Breaks Katie Ledecky’s U.S. Open Meet Record in 400 Free (3:59.42)

2023 U.S. OPEN SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS

Rising Canadian star Summer McIntosh beat American legend Katie Ledecky in a stacked women’s 400-meter freestyle on Thursday at the U.S. Open, taking down her meet record in the process.

McIntosh, 17, reached the wall in 3:59.42, sneaking under Ledecky’s U.S. Open meet record of 3:59.71 from last year, when Ledecky edged past McIntosh by just .08 seconds. This year’s showdown wasn’t quite as close as the 26-year-old Ledecky finished nearly three seconds behind McIntosh with a runner-up finish in 4:02.38.

“Overall I’m pretty happy with that race — it’s the first long course meet of the season, so I was just really excited going into it and didn’t know what to expect,” said McIntosh, who added that she chose the 400 free over the 200 IM today because she’s getting IM experience with the 400 IM later in the meet. “I’m going to learn from this and continue to move forward the rest of the year.”

McIntosh has been as fast as 3:56.08 at Canadian Trials in late March, which stood as the world record until 23-year-old Australian Ariarne Titmus reclaimed the honor during her World Championships victory over Ledecky (3:58.73) and McIntosh (3:59.94) in July.

Ledecky’s lifetime best is a 3:56.46 from the Rio 2016 Olympics, which was also a world record at the time. It was the first time she had lost a 400-meter free race or longer on U.S. soil in 11 years since the 2012 Olympic Trials, when she was just 15 years old.

WOMEN’S 400 FREESTYLE – FINALS

Top 8:

  1. Summer McIntosh — 3:59.42
  2. Katie Ledecky — 4:02.38
  3. Siobhan Haughey — 4:06.32
  4. Leah Smith — 4:06.80
  5. Paige Madden — 4:08.01
  6. Anna Peplowski — 4:09.91
  7. Cavan Gormsen — 4:12.16
  8. Erin Gemmell — 4:14.16

Behind McIntosh and Ledecky, 26-year-old Hong Kong standout Siobhan Haughey snagged 3rd place in 4:06.32, just about a second off her personal-best 4:05.30 from the World Cup stop in Berlin last month. Leah Smith, 28, was within half a second of Haughey with a 4th-place showing in 4:06.80, about six second off her best time of 4:00.65 from the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Paige Madden, 25, placed 5th in 4:08.01 after breaking the Pan American Games meet record in the event last month with a winning time of 4:06.45 — her fastest swim since the Tokyo Olympics two years ago.

Indiana junior Anna Peplowski took 6th place in 4:09.91, absolutely crushing her previous-best 4:13.02 from prelims. She came in with an entry time of 4:15.50, getting under the Olympic Trials cut (4:15.49) twice in one day.

A pair of NCAA newbies rounded out the A-final as Virginia freshman Cavan Gormsen captured 7th place in 4:12.16 and Texas freshman Erin Gemmell placed 8th in 4:14.16, who were well off their lifetime bests coming off midseason invites last weekend.

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Elsa Nystrom
2 months ago

Well done Summer. Too bad Katie and Summer are separated by 9 years. Wouldn’t a race between a 17 year old Katie and 17 year old Summer be fun to watch? Of course its not possible although the competition in the IMs is close to that scenario.

Breezeway
2 months ago

that NBC video title, “Summer McIntosh sneaks past Katie Ledecky” 😂
She led from the jump and won by 3 secs

Elsa Nystrom
Reply to  Breezeway
2 months ago

Nothing sneaky about it although I believe Katie had the fastest reaction time.

SwimWithJim
2 months ago

Great work Summer

Joel
2 months ago

Very quiet in this comment section.
Well done Summer.
is that faster than she swam in Fukuoka?

bubbles
Reply to  Joel
2 months ago

yes she swam a 3:59.94 in fukuoka

Tanner-Garapick-Oleksiak-McIntosh
Reply to  Joel
2 months ago

Yes Summers swim was about a half second faster than her Fukuoka swim.

Pieter H
Reply to  Joel
2 months ago

She was obviously under immense pressure with her being the WR holder and 400 free being her first final of the meet and she didn’t handle it well.

But she’s young. She learned and moved on.

Last edited 2 months ago by Pieter H
Swimfan
Reply to  Pieter H
2 months ago

She is not the current World Record holder.

Joshua Liendo-Edwards-Smith
Reply to  Swimfan
2 months ago

She was when she swam in Fukuoka, which is what they were referencing I think

Pieter H
Reply to  Swimfan
2 months ago

She was the WR holder heading to Fukuoka 400 free final.

Last edited 2 months ago by Pieter H
Joshua Liendo-Edwards-Smith
Reply to  Joel
2 months ago

Yes it’s half a second faster.

I guess it’s just not that hyped because the time isn’t that interesting. A great in-season time from her, but this year we’ve seen numerous in-season world records.

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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