WATCH: Fastest 800 Free Heats from Night 1 of 2019 US Open


The 2019 US Open kicked off with big swims from Katie Ledecky and Brazil’s Guilherme Costa. Ledecky took her race out hard and won by 12 seconds, while da Costa took 3.5 seconds off his own South American record to defeat U.S. distance mainstays Jordan Wilimovsky and Zane Grothe by multiple seconds.

Women’s 800 free – fastest heat

  1. Katie Ledecky, NCAP, 8:14.59
  2. Kiah Melverton, TSSA, 8:26.08
  3. Leah Smith, FORD, 8:27.49

Katie Ledecky had a multiple-body-length lead by the 200, and was just off her world record place at that point (2:00.08). Ledecky was 4:04.96 at the 400, and closed in 1:01.47 to win the event in a new meet record of 8:14.59.

Australian Kiah Melverton took second, going stroke-for-stroke with Leah Smith the whole way. Melverton was 2:03.81 at the 200-mark, 4:11.99 at the 400, and finished in 8:26.08. Smith, who finished third, was 2:03.57 at the 200, 4:12.65 at the 400, and finished in 8:27.49.

Open water stars Ashley Twichell and Erica Sullivan finished fourth and fifth in 8:29.45 and 8:30.76, respectively.

Men’s 800 free – fastest heat

  1. Guilherme da Costa, MTC, 7:47.37
  2. Jordan Wilimovsky, TSM, 7:49.76
  3. Zane Grothe, BCH, 7:51.53

Brazilian Guilherme da Costa came out with the win — and broke his own South American record — after going neck-and-neck with Jordan Wilimovksy and Zane Grothe for the first 500 or so meters. Da Costa was 1:54.89 at the 200-mark, 3:53.15 at the 400, and finished in 7:47.37. Wilimovsly was 1:54.88 at the 200, 3:53.67 at the 400, and finished in 7:49.76. Grothe was 1:54.44 at the 200, 3:53.53 at the 400, and was third in 7:51.53.

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About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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