2021 US OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Wednesday, December 1st – Saturday, December 4th, 2021
- Greensboro Aquatic Center, Greensboro, NC
- LCM (50m)
- Meet Info
- Meet Central
- Psych Sheets
- Results (Omega)
Katie Ledecky made her eagerly anticipated post-Tokyo debut in Greensboro last week, and she did not disappoint. In her first long course meet since moving her training base to the Univerity of Florida, under coach Anthony Nesty, Ledecky took down the U.S. Open meet records in the 200, 400 and 800 free, and dominated the 1500, although she was off her own meet record.
800 Free – 8:12.81
Ledecky swam an 8:12.81 to win the 800 free. She opened the race with a 59.26 to make her the only sub-1:00 woman in the field and had established a lead of nearly 3 seconds by the 200-meter mark with a 2:00.91.
By the halfway point, Ledecky was 6 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Leah Smith‘s 4:11.19 with a 4:05.68. That split for Ledecky was just under a second slower than her opening split of 4:04.70 at the Tokyo Olympics. Ledecky kept up the pace on the back half of the race, ultimately touching with an 8:12.81.
That swim for Ledecky is less than 0.30 seconds slower than the time she swam this summer in Tokyo to claim Olympic gold of 8:12.57. The swim marks Ledecky’s 17th-quickest performance ever in the event and broke her US Open meet record, improving upon the 8:14.59 she posted back in 2019.
400 Free – 4:00.51
After pulling out a body length ahead by the end of the first 100, Ledecky won the event in 4:00.51, breaking her own U.S. Open meet record from 2019. She finished with a sub-1:00 100, mimicking her speed from prelims when she swam the last 100 in 58.70. Ledecky split 28.15/30.40/30.43/30.94/31.22/30.27/29.91/29.19 in finals.
Ledecky finished ten seconds ahead of second-place Erin Gemmell, who finished in 4:10.12 and is just 16 years old.
200 Free – 1:55.47
Ledecky U.S. Open Meet Record for the second time in a day with a 1:55.47 in the 200 free finals, winning by over three seconds.
Coming into the morning, the meet record stood at 1:56.24, a mark which Ledecky set back in 2019, when this meet was held at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, in Atlanta, Georgia. Ledecky took down that record in prelims with a 1:56.06, then she shaved nearly another six-tenths of a second off of that time in the finals swim.
Morning splits: 27.59/29.27/29.50/29.70
Evening splits: 27.32/29.00/29.35/29.80
1500 Free – 15:45.32
Ledecky was extremely consistent with her mile splitting, holding between 31.3 and 31.8 throughout the race. Ledecky was able to close with a strong 30.29 on her final 50 meters, touching first — by 36 seconds — in 15:45.32. The mile was the one event where she missed the meet record, which she still owns at 15:35.98 from 2019.
When asked about her consistency with her splits, she stated “That’s what I train for, so I’m happy about that.”
Ledecky was the only athlete to swim the race under 16 minutes; Sierra Schmidt was the next closest competitor (16:21.56).