Reported by Jared Anderson
WOMEN’S 200 FREE – FINALS
What looked like the closest race of the night turned into yet another Katie Ledecky blowout as the reigning world champ crushed a new lifetime-best of 1:54.43 in the 200 free to top Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom by more than a body length.
That time for Ledecky nearly broke the U.S. Open record for the fastest swim ever done on American soil, and it did take down the 17-18 National Age Group record preiously held by Missy Franklin at 1:54.81.
What’s impressive is how effortlessly Ledecky is still dropping time despite already being the best freestyler in the world from 200 meters on up.
Sjostrom, who could very well challenge Ledecky for the 200 free gold medal in Rio if she enters the race, was 1:56.14, losing track of Ledecky early and not quite coming up with the firepower to run her down late. Still, Sjostrom beat Franklin by well over a second, as Franklin was 1:57.49 for bronze.
Melanie Margalis beat out Leah Smith for fourth, 1:58.01 to 1:58.32. Behind them, Sarah Henry was 2:00.34, swimming back to back races with the 400 IM. Mission Viejo’s Stephanie Peacock was 2:00.84 for 7th and Shannon Vreeland took 8th in 2:02.26.
Canadian 15-year-old Taylor Ruck won the B final in 1:58.74, crushing the consolation final at the age of 15.