Female NCAA Performance of the Year: Katie Ledecky’s 500 Free

Photo Courtesy: Dan D'Addona

Swimming World’s Female NCAA Performance of the Year goes to Katie Ledecky for her record-breaking 500 free at this year’s NCAA championships. She posted a time of 4:24.06 to crush her previous American and NCAA record.

ORIGINAL RACE REPORT:

Katie Ledecky reset her NCAA, American and US Open Record from the Pac-12 Championships a few short weeks ago. Ledecky broke all the records at 4:24.06, a second under the old record at 4:25.15. An equally impressive swim, Leah Smith broke 4:30 for the first time with a 4:28.90, moving her up to the 11th fastest performance of all time.

Ledecky and Smith were way ahead from the rest of the field the entire way, the only question was how far they could both go under their best times. Smith had been knocking on the 4:30 barrier for two years now and she finally did it tonight while trailing one of the best swimmers in history. This is Stanford’s first title in the 500 free since 2001 when Jessica Foschi won it at 4:37.81. It is the eighth title in the 500 for Stanford as Marybeth Linzmeier won three titles from 1982-1984 and Janet Evans won two in 1990 and 1991.

The battle for third was very exciting as outside smoke, Kennedy Goss of Indiana had a monster last 50 with a 4:36.13 to out-touch Louisville’s Mallory Comerford at 4:36.16. Hannah Moore (4:36.85), Rose Bi (4:37.30), Danielle Valley (4:38.31) and G Ryan (4:40.28) rounded out the A-final.

Event 3  Women 500 Yard Freestyle
=========================================================================
         NCAA: N 4:25.15  2/23/2017 Katie Ledecky, Stanford
         Meet: C 4:28.37  3/16/2017 Katie Ledecky, Stanford
     American: A 4:25.15  2/23/2017 Katie Ledecky, Stanford
    U.S. Open: O 4:25.15  2/23/2017 Katie Ledecky, Stanford
         Pool: P 4:28.37  3/16/2017 Katie Ledecky, Stanford
    Name           Year School            Prelims     Finals NISCA Points
=========================================================================
                            === A - Final ===                            
 
  1 Katie Ledecky    FR Stanford          4:28.37    4:24.06N  198   20  
    r:+0.68  24.41        50.65 (26.24)
        1:16.83 (26.18)     1:43.49 (26.66)
        2:10.07 (26.58)     2:37.07 (27.00)
        3:04.11 (27.04)     3:31.14 (27.03)
        3:58.03 (26.89)     4:24.06 (26.03)
  2 Leah Smith       SR Virginia          4:31.10    4:28.90   189   17  
    r:+0.72  24.83        51.42 (26.59)
        1:18.19 (26.77)     1:45.34 (27.15)
        2:12.62 (27.28)     2:39.89 (27.27)
        3:07.28 (27.39)     3:34.57 (27.29)
        4:02.00 (27.43)     4:28.90 (26.90)
  3 Kennedy Goss     JR Indiana           4:38.09    4:36.13   175   16  
    r:+0.65  25.53        53.56 (28.03)
        1:21.73 (28.17)     1:49.93 (28.20)
        2:18.08 (28.15)     2:46.06 (27.98)
        3:14.37 (28.31)     3:42.44 (28.07)
        4:09.87 (27.43)     4:36.13 (26.26)
  4 Mallory Comerfo  SO Louisville        4:36.91    4:36.16   175   15  
    r:+0.69  25.52        53.39 (27.87)
        1:21.84 (28.45)     1:50.19 (28.35)
        2:18.52 (28.33)     2:46.40 (27.88)
        3:14.22 (27.82)     3:41.87 (27.65)
        4:09.40 (27.53)     4:36.16 (26.76)
  5 Hannah Moore     JR NC STATE          4:37.12    4:36.85   173   14  
    r:+0.70  25.96        53.80 (27.84)
        1:21.76 (27.96)     1:49.92 (28.16)
        2:18.00 (28.08)     2:46.16 (28.16)
        3:14.17 (28.01)     3:42.17 (28.00)
        4:09.85 (27.68)     4:36.85 (27.00)
  6 Rose Bi          SO Michigan          4:37.81    4:37.30   172   13  
    r:+0.66  25.81        53.58 (27.77)
        1:21.47 (27.89)     1:49.46 (27.99)
        2:17.50 (28.04)     2:45.73 (28.23)
        3:13.88 (28.15)     3:42.09 (28.21)
        4:10.24 (28.15)     4:37.30 (27.06)
  7 Danielle Valley  SR Wisconsin         4:38.07    4:38.31   171   12  
    r:+0.75  26.15        54.00 (27.85)
        1:22.00 (28.00)     1:50.18 (28.18)
        2:18.25 (28.07)     2:46.42 (28.17)
        3:14.48 (28.06)     3:42.46 (27.98)
        4:10.73 (28.27)     4:38.31 (27.58)
  8 G Ryan           JR Michigan          4:36.46    4:40.28   167   11  
    r:+0.73  26.10        54.18 (28.08)
        1:22.53 (28.35)     1:51.25 (28.72)
        2:19.64 (28.39)     2:48.03 (28.39)
        3:16.24 (28.21)     3:44.57 (28.33)
        4:12.67 (28.10)     4:40.28 (27.61)

best-of-2017

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6 Comments

6 comments

  1. avatar
    Katy

    Simone’s insane 100 free should have got it

    • avatar
      Anne

      From an objective, unemotional USA Swimming power points perspective, Ledecky’s 500 Free swim at NCAAs rated 1128 points to Manuel’s 1108 points for the 100 Free. Also, from an objective, unemotional USA Swimming power points perspective, the top three swimmers in their respective individual events at NCAA Championships were Ledecky (3349 points), Kathleen Baker (3317 points), and Manuel (3242 points). At NCAAs, Ledecky had three individual titles, two relay wins, and one individual American Record. Baker had three individual titles, one relay win, and no individual American Records. Manuel had two individual titles, two relay wins, and one individual American record.

      • avatar
        Katy

        Ok.but we’re talking about a single race…so all the rest is irrelevant as is the “power points”

  2. avatar
    JONATHAN W WASHBURN

    Frothy emotional appeals to override the incredible nature of Katie Ledecky and her 500 make no sense. Maybe Katie does it so often, so expectedly, that some uninformed people have a hard time grasping just how incredible her swimming is. Yes, Simone had a fantastic 100 free and is a world class talent. But since both races were “incredible” and unprecedented, wouldn’t an obvious intellectual view of this be to compare Power Points, or some other objective standard? Does the emotional use of the word “insane” (which has no logical connection to ‘good’) by itself qualify that 100 swim as more notable than the 500? And the answer to that question is NO.

    • avatar
      Katy

      The 100 free is arguably the most prestigious event in all sized pools. Sorry you have difficulty with “youth” lingo

      • avatar
        JONATHAN W WASHBURN

        I too am sorry – sorry this seems to require personal attacks and discussion of who is having a ‘problem’. I’m pretty good with words, and I recognize all sorts of ‘insane’ slang. I also know that, even when I take the trouble to display agreement with a viewpoint (“fantastic 100 free” and “world class talent”) there are always haters on line who will say anything in their anonymity. I’m content to know that the presenters of the award also agree with my conclusion that the 500 Free was the “Performance of the Year”. My biggest issue was hearing a private opinion stating that another swim “should have got (sic) it”. If the comment had said “the incredible 100 Free by Simone Manuel should be considered right up there” I would have saluted the recognition. But the way it was stated (“should have got it”) made a furtive criticism of the committee who made the decision they did. Yet, I am glad you remind readers of the unprecedented breakthrough by Simone. And yes, your sentiment that the 100 Free truly IS THE GLORY EVENT is an opinion I share.

Author: David Rieder

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David Rieder is the host of Swimming World TV and a staff writer for Swimming World. A contributor to the magazine and website since 2009, he has covered the NCAA Championships, U.S. Nationals, Olympic Trials as well as the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and the 2017 World Championships in Budapest. He is a native of Charleston, S.C., and a 2016 graduate of Duke University.

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