SwimSwam Pulse: 73% Believe Ledecky Can Break 15:00

SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.

Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers about one of the more notable barriers that could be challenged at women’s NCAAs:


Question: Will Katie Ledecky break 15 minutes in the mile at NCAAs?

  • Yes – 73.1%
  • No – 26.9%

Less than one day away from the race itself, nearly three-quarters of SwimSwam voters said they believe Katie Ledecky can break fifteen minutes in the 1650 freestyle.

The drop would be a pretty substantial one for Ledecky – at least 3.32 seconds from her 15:03.31 lifetime-best. That’s not a huge amount in a mile, but when one is as fast as Ledecky is, dropping significant time becomes a major challenge. That’s the upshot of a 500 free last night that saw Ledecky put up the 5th-fastest swim in history but still not approach her lifetime-best.

On the other hand, there’s reason to believe she can do it, based on historic in-season swimming in the 1000 and 200 frees. As we laid out in our event preview here. Ledecky has been significantly faster in 1000 free/200 free dual meet doubles than she has in previous years.

But another downside is that Ledecky has to swim two 400 IMs the day before, an intensely grueling race that may take primary focus for Ledecky, who will have a tough battle with teammate Ella Eastin in the IM but should win the 500 and 1650 with ease.

Ledecky will swim the event tomorrow night at day 4 finals, where we’ll see if SwimSwam voters’ overwhelming support of Ledecky doing unprecedented things is supported or not.


Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Pollwhich asks voters about new reports that USA Swimming is laying the groundwork for alcohol sales at senior-level swim meets.

Do you support the sale of alcohol to spectators at senior level swim meets?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...



A3 Performance is an independently-owned, performance swimwear company built on a passion for swimming, athletes, and athletic performance. We encourage swimmers to swim better and faster at all ages and levels, from beginners to Olympians.  Driven by a genuine leader and devoted staff that are passionate about swimming and service, A3 Performance strives to inspire and enrich the sport of swimming with innovative and impactful products that motivate swimmers to be their very best – an A3 Performer.

The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner

In This Story

Leave a Reply

5 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
5 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Right Dude Here

Her performance has made such a compelling argument that she can break 15, that the only thing should could possibly do to further convince me is actually do it.


Based on her 500………… no.


Some numbers that may help to have a sober judgment of what it means to break 15 min in 1650 race. 1. To do so the average split should be 27.3 sec. Her pace (excluding start and finish) was 27.1 yesterday when she swam 5th fastest ever race in this event. It doesn’t look from this angle that 15 min is doable. 2. The average 500 should be 4:33. Looks like easily achievable if she swims in prelim 4:29 3. 1000 mark should be reached at 9:06. It looks tough since I don’t remember when she was under 9:10 last time after breaking 9 minutes in high school. I think these numbers give some idea how exceptional her current 15:03… Read more »

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

Read More »

Don't want to miss anything?

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive our latest updates!