Photo by Griffin Scott
Editorial coverage for U.S. Senior Nationals proudly sponsored by Master Spas!
IRVINE, California, August 7.
NCAP’s Katie Ledecky is incredibly scary across every distance in the freestyle stroke. Ledecky, who already is the best distance freestyler in the world having put the 800 and 1500 free world rankings into another stratosphere, beat the defending champion Missy Franklin in the 200-meter freestyle tonight, even leading by the 100-meter mark before pulling away down the stretch. Ledecky crushed the field by more than a second in 1:55.16 to move to second in the world rankings. Only Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom has been faster with a 1:55.04 from the Eindhoven Swim Cup. It also stands as a World Junior Record, although Franklin still holds the fastest age group swim ever with a 17-18 age group record of 1:54.81. FINA just had not recognized World Junior Records at the time.
Franklin, meanwhile, made sure she hit the wall second with a time of 1:56.40. That’s her best time this year, moving her to 10th in the world rankings as Team USA now has two of the top 10 200 freestylers in the world. Cavalier’s Leah Smith took third in 1:57.57, her first time under 1:58, while Bulldogs’ Shannon Vreeland checked in with a fourth-place 1:57.73 to earn the fourth spot on the 800 freestyle relay headed to the Pan Pacific Championships.
Terrapins’ Chelsea Chenault (1:58.60), NBAC’s Cierra Runge (1:58.70), First Colony’s Simone Manuel (1:58.79) and Aggie’s Sarah Henry (1:59.05) also competed in the championship heat .
NBAC’s Allison Schmitt, who was disappointed not to make the A final, topped the B final tonight with a 1:58.36. She has been much faster this year with a 10th-ranked season best of 1:56.39 from the Charlotte stop of the Arena Grand Prix, and just could not put it together in the 200 this week. She’ll be refocusing on the 400 free later this week. Longhorn’s Madisyn Cox took second in 1:59.22 to down her personal best of 1:59.93, while Bulldogs’ Amber McDermott placed third in 1:59.59 – her first time under 2:00.
North Mecklenburg’s Emily Allen cleared 2:00 for the first time with a 1:59.35 to win the C final out of lane 8. That’s a huge drop from her previous best of 2:02.71 from this morning. Ozaukee’s Katie Drabot hit the wall second in 2:00.13 with York Y’s Courtney Harnish picking up third in 2:00.46.