Katie Ledecky Out-Touches Simone Manuel in 100 Free; Madisyn Cox Swims 4:36 400 IM at Longhorn Elite Classic

Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Katie Ledecky proved she had the perfect mix of speed and endurance on Thursday night at the Longhorn Elite Classic in Austin, Texas as she ran down teammate Simone Manuel in the 100 free final with a 53.82 to Manuel’s 53.83. Manuel had been as fast as a 53.3 earlier this season as Ledecky’s time is a season best and it may or may not put her as a factor for the 4×100 free relay come the first night of the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Ledecky finished seventh at the 2016 US Trials in the 100 free but ended up anchoring the silver medal winning 4×100 free relay in Rio as she has proven to be a reliable relay swimmer in the sprint relay. Manuel is the two-time defending world champ and the reigning Olympic champ as she will not be counted out come Tokyo if she is to make the team in the 100.

With the addition of the 1500 to the Olympic line-up, that may push Ledecky out of the individual 100 free on night six but she will be among the talks for the four spots on the 4×100 free relay team when the moment comes.

Katie Ledecky and Simone Manuel’s race:

Katie Ledecky followed that up with a 4:00.37 in the 400 free, a little off her 3:59 season best from Mission Viejo last month as she has the fastest time in the world, sitting ahead of Australia’s Ariarne Titmus (4:01.34) from April as those two are on a collision course come the 400 free final in Tokyo in 65 days. Joanna Evans, who swims at Texas and represents the Bahamas, will be in Tokyo by virtue of her 4:07.33 tonight in Austin as she got under the 4:07.90 FINA A standard and will be on her way to her second Games. She was 13th in Rio in the 400 freestyle.

Madisyn Cox had an impressive swim in the 400 IM with a 4:36.61 as that puts her fifth in the world and second in the US heading into Trials. The time was a best time for Cox who was a 4:37.2 at the 2019 Mare Nostrum in Canet. She has been traditionally stronger in the 200 IM and will definitely be a factor come Omaha in both the 200 and 400 IM as she is the second fastest American behind Melanie Margalis’ 4:35 from Mission Viejo.

Cox finished ahead of fellow Longhorn Evie Pfeifer (4:40.14) and NCAA champion Brooke Forde (4:40.28) as those two should also factor into this race come Omaha.

Women’s 400 IM World Rankings 2021:

  1. 4:34.76, Katinka Hosszu, HUN
  2. 4:35.14, Yui Ohashi, JPN
  3. 4:35.18, Melanie Margalis, USA
  4. 4:35.70, Aimee Willmott, GBR
  5. 4:36.61, Madisyn Cox, USA
  6. 4:36.81, Viktoria Mihalyvari, HUN
  7. 4:37.06, Sara Franceschi, ITA
  8. 4:37.55, Hali Flickinger, USA
  9. 4:37.88, Yu Yiting, CHN
  10. 4:37.90, Ageha Tanigawa, JPN

Texas freshman Olivia Bray had an impressive swim in the 100 butterfly with a 58.17 as she is now eighth among Americans heading into Trials. Stanford redshirt Lillie Nordmann finished second at 58.63 ahead of Texas sophomore Kelly Pash (59.01).