Flash! Ziegler Shatters Evans’ World Record in 1500 Freestyle

MISSION VIEJO, California, June 17. SHE'S been tracking her idol for years, winning world titles and living up to the high expectations placed on her shoulders. Sunday night, swimming at the TYR Meet of Champions in Mission Viejo, Calif., Kate Ziegler passed Janet Evans on the long-course scene. Contesting the 1500 freestyle, Ziegler lopped an unheard of nine-plus seconds from Evans' 1988 standard of 15:52.10.

Already the winner of the 200, 400 and 800 freestyles at the meet, Ziegler saved her best for last and went 15:42.54, a time that is almost unfathomable. Ziegler, the two-time defending world champ in the 800 and 1500 freestyles, has been compared to Evans since she arrived as a rising force on the national scene. At the World Championships earlier this year in Melbourne, Ziegler posted a mark of 15:53.05, the second-fastest in history at that moment.

In Mission Viejo, she attacked the 30-lap event with a vengeance, moving ahead of world-record pace from the get-go.

The newly-minted world record holder hit 4:09.87 at the 400 and 8:22.57 at the 800. Incredibly, the 400 split sat just four seconds off her individual event winning time of 4:05.44 from Friday night, while the 800 was actually two seconds faster than her winning time of 8:24.40 on Thursday.

Obviously, since she broke the record by 10 seconds, there was never a question whether she would remain on target. It was only a matter of how low she would take the record, which was the oldest on the books, set March 26, 1988 in Orlando.

Considering Ziegler broke the oldest effort by such a large margin, one has to consider the swim as the finest performance in history. Forever, debate will rage as to which swims are the most impressive, but Ziegler at least can make a strong case for the distinction. Ziegler, of course, is trained by Ray Benecki of The Fish.

Here is the Hy-Tek result report with complete splits of the amazing swim:

Event 31 Women Open 1500 LC Meter Freestyle
Meet Record: M 16:13.81 1994 Janet Evans – TROJ
Pool Record: P 16:13.81 1994 Janet Evans – Trojan
US Record: A 15:52.10 1988 Janet Evans
World Record: W 15:52.10 1988 Janet Evans – USA
Name Age Team Seed Finals
1 Ziegler, Kate 18 The FISH-PV 15:53.05 15:42.54W
29.23 1:00.49 (31.26)
1:32.09 (31.60) 2:03.46 (31.37)
2:35.17 (31.71) 3:06.74 (31.57)
3:38.34 (31.60) 4:09.87 (31.53)
4:41.41 (31.54) 5:13.01 (31.60)
5:44.80 (31.79) 6:16.48 (31.68)
6:48.07 (31.59) 7:19.63 (31.56)
7:51.06 (31.43) 8:22.57 (31.51)
8:53.91 (31.34) 9:25.42 (31.51)
9:57.07 (31.65) 10:28.74 (31.67)
11:00.19 (31.45) 11:31.70 (31.51)
12:03.42 (31.72) 12:35.17 (31.75)
13:06.55 (31.38) 13:38.54 (31.99)
14:10.13 (31.59) 14:41.85 (31.72)
15:13.27 (31.42) 15:42.54 (29.27)

Ziegler maintained a pace of 31 seconds the entire race sandwiched by a pair of 29s to start and end the jaw-dropping effort.

Special thanks to Kevin Milak for providing this race analysis of the epic swim.

Check back for further coverage of Ziegler's swim

Kate Ziegler reacts to breaking Janet Evans' 1500 free world record.

Notify of

Welcome to our community. We invite you to join our discussion. Our community guidelines are simple: be respectful and constructive, keep on topic, and support your fellow commenters. Commenting signifies that you agree to our Terms of Use

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x