GEORGETOWN, Maryland, February 7. KATIE Ledecky didn’t want to wait until tomorrow’s finals of the D.C. Metro high school swimming championships to get the crowd on its feet, swimming the fastest 500-yard freestyle in history in today’s prelims.
In the fifth of five heats, Ledecky blazed through the race with a 4:28.71 to not only beat her year-old national high school record of 4:31.38, but also shatter Katie Hoff’s American standard of 4:30.47 from 2007.
26.96 (53.82, 1:44.97)
27.37 (54.50, 2:39.47)
27.51 (54.81, 3:34.28)
26.56 (54.43, 4:28.71)
Ledecky dominated qualifying, as second-place finisher Elaina Gu posted a 4:56.31.
The crowd at the Germantown Indoor Swim Center will definitely pull Ledecky along to what could be an even faster swim for the junior in tomorrow’s finals. Ledecky will have a busy schedule, as she is planning to also swim the 200 freestyle and chase Dagny Knutson’s national record of 1:42.81. Can Megan Romano’s American record of 1:41.21 be in jeopardy as well? Ledecky likely swam all-out in the 500 today to take the edge off racing that event shortly after the 200 free in tomorrow’s finals.
Today’s preliminaries session only featured the boys’ and girls’ 500 free, as well as the 400 free relay. Gavin Springer is the top qualifier in the boys’ 500 with a 4:27.91. Yes, Ledecky could outswim the boys in the 500 free at this meet, though Springer will be swimming to make sure that doesn’t happen. Springer’s run at the championship comes a year after Jack Conger posted an amazing 4:13.87 to win the event and break a 30-year-old national record.