Photo Gallery: History in the Making as Katie Ledecky Blasts 400 Free World Record

Editorial coverage for U.S. Senior Nationals proudly sponsored by Master Spas!

IRVINE, California, August 9. NCAP’s Katie Ledecky got the crowd going at the USA Swimming Senior Nationals as she blasted her way to a world record in the women’s 400-meter freestyle.

Ledecky raced her way to a 3:58.86 to win the middle distance event, and down Federica Pellegrini’s world record (3:59.15) and her own American record (3:59.82) as she blasted through the 3:59 barrier.

Swimming World photographer Griffin Scott was on hand to capture the historic swim.

Ledecky, who already holds the world records in the 800 (8:11.00) and 1500 (15:34.23) freestyle events, becomes the first swimmer to hold all three records at the same time since Janet Evans did so in 1987.  Prior to Evans, Tracy Wickham of Australia held all three in 1978.  Other 400-800-1500 simultaneous world record holders include Ilsa Konrads (1960), Debbie Meyer (1967) and Shane Gould (1971) as Ledecky joins an incredibly elite set of swimmers.

Comparative Splits

Ledecky World record:

28.03, 57.74 (29.71), 1:27.67 (29.93), 1:57.72 (30.05), 2:27.95 (30.23), 2:58.40 (30.45), 3:29.41 (31.01), 3:58.86 (29.45)

Ledecky U.S. Open record:

28.25, 58.25 (30.00), 1:28.40 (30.15), 1:58.59 (30.19), 2:29.35 (30.76), 2:59.79 (30.44), 3:30.20 (30.41), 3:59.89 (29.69)

Pellegrini:

28.45, 58.66 (30.31), 1:28.97 (30.31), 1:59.42 (30.45), 2:29.66 (30.24), 2:59.93 (30.27), 3:29.79 (29.86), 3:59.15 (29.36)

Ledecky American record:

28.05, 58.12 (30.07), 1:28.25 (30.13), 1:58.74 (30.49), 2:28.85 (30.11), 2:59.29 (30.44), 3:29.94 (30.65), 3:59.82 (29.88)

Ledecky was swimming against herself as NBAC’s Cierra Runge took second in a 4:04.67 to vault to eighth in the world, while Cavalier’s Leah Smith placed third in 4:06.28.

BlueFish’s Elizabeth Beisel (4:07.46), NBAC’s Becca Mann (4:07.92), Badger’s Lindsay Vrooman (4:09.38), NBAC’s Gillian Ryan (4:11.19) and Aggie’s Sarah Henry (4:12.15) also swam in the historic heat.

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Author: Jason Marsteller

Jason Marsteller is the general manager of digital properties at Swimming World. He joined Swimming World in June 2006 as the managing editor after previous stints as a media relations professional at Indiana University, the University of Tennessee, Southern Utah University and the Utah Summer Games.

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