Katie Ledecky, Leah Smith Cruise In 400 Free Heats

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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In what has become almost routine, Katie Ledecky and Leah Smith are on top of the 400 free heats at the USA Swimming National Championships. Ledecky and Smith have finished 1-2 at the last two Nationals and are showing signs of a three peat in 2018. Ledecky has the top seed with a 4:02.69 to Smith’s 4:05.14 as both are safely into tonight’s final.

Ledecky and Smith have already qualified for the team after their top four finishes in the 200 free on Thursday night.

The battle for third will be an extremely tight race as five other ladies swam a 4:08 in the heats in Irvine on Saturday morning. Sierra Schmidt of Michigan is the third seed at 4:08.12. Hali Flickinger (4:08.40), Haley Anderson (4:08.46), Kaersten Meitz (4:08.55) and Geena Freriks (4:08.91) all swam 4:08’s. Kirsten Jacobsen of Arizona is the eighth seed at 4:09.36.

Flickinger and Anderson are already on the Pan Pac team after Flickinger won the 200 fly and Anderson qualified in Open Water.

Claire Tuggle of Clovis Swim Club is number four all-time in the 13-14 NAG rankings with her 4:10.17 this morning. Tuggle sits behind Sippy Woodhead (4:07.15), Becca Mann (4:08.65) and Ledecky (4:09.30).

There were a lot of notable A-Final misses as the B-Final is almost just as stacked as the A. Allison Schmitt (4:10.80) finished 11th, Katie Drabot (4:11.01) finished 12th, Ally McHugh finished 14th (4:11.32) and Cierra Runge (4:14.00) finished 26th.


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  1. avatar

    Didn’t Ledecky and Smith really qualify in the 800m where the finished 1st and 2nd?

    • avatar
      Andy Ross

      They did! How could I forget?