Katie Ledecky Posts 4:28 in 500 Free Prelims at Women’s Pac-12 Championships

katie-ledecky-on-blocks
Photo Courtesy: Stanford Athletics

The first prelims session of the women’s Pac-12 championships kicked off just as the Wednesday night relay session ended—with Katie Ledecky posting yet another impressive effort at her first NCAA conference championship meet.

Ledecky led the way through prelims of the women’s 500 free, touching the wall in 4:28.37. While the time is almost two seconds off her own American record of 4:26.46, the mark is the seventh-fastest performance all-time, and no one else in history has swum within two seconds of that time.

The 500 will be a huge race for the Stanford Cardinal, as expected, as a pair of Ledecky’s freshmen classmates will bracket her in this evening’s final: Katie Drabot qualified second in 4:37.49, and Megan Byrnes finished third in 4:39.66. Also making the final in fifth place was Stanford sophomore Leah Stevens, who touched in 4:40.36.

Cal’s Katie McLaughlin broke up the Cardinal with a fourth-place time of 4:40.03, and she was followed into the A-final by Arizona’s Hannah Cox (4:40.85), Arizona State’s Kat Simonovic (4:41.22) and USC’s Tatum Wade (4:42.18).

  1 Ledecky, Katie         FR STAN-PC           4:26.46    4:28.37  
       25.40    26.63    27.38    27.24
       27.22    27.10    27.06    27.32
       26.52    26.50                  
  2 Drabot, Katie          FR STAN-PC           4:42.46    4:37.49  
       25.66    27.54    28.07    28.40
       28.39    27.98    28.11    28.20
       27.77    27.37                  
  3 Byrnes, Megan          FR STAN-PC           4:41.25    4:39.66  
       25.90    27.49    28.04    28.33
       28.35    28.46    28.54    28.41
       28.44    27.70                  
  4 McLaughlin, Katie      SO CAL-PC            4:39.08    4:40.03  
       25.60    28.12    28.12    28.16
       28.20    28.17    28.11    28.73
       28.90    27.92                  
  5 Stevens, Leah          SO STAN-PC           4:44.30    4:40.36  
       25.65    27.77    27.93    28.22
       28.26    28.16    28.22    28.40
       28.63    29.12                  
  6 Cox, Hannah            FR ARIZ-AZ           4:38.38    4:40.85  
       25.35    27.54    28.12    28.46
       28.45    28.34    28.57    28.91
       28.76    28.35                  
  7 Simonovic, Kat         SR ASU-AZ            4:43.28    4:41.22  
       25.65    27.75    28.07    28.07
       28.09    28.10    28.75    29.04
       29.32    28.38                  
  8 Wade, Tatum            FR USC-CA            4:44.32    4:42.18  
       25.67    27.70    28.23    28.50
       28.60    28.65    29.05    29.04
       28.63    28.11

Stanford’s Ella Eastin and Cal’s Kathleen Baker took the top two seeds for the 200 IM final, with Eastin posting a time of 1:54.76 to edge out Baker’s 1:54.87. Both figure to be much faster in the final as they finished one-two (Eastin then Baker) in the event at both the Pac-12 and NCAA championships last season.

USC’s Louise Hansson qualified third in 1:55.43, more than a second ahead of teammate Kirsten Vose (1:56.49). Stanford’s Ally Howe (1:56.81) and Kim Williams (1:56.97) took fifth and sixth, respectively, and a pair of Cal Bears, Celina Le (1:57.87) and Keaton Blovad (1:57.92) finished in the final two qualifying spots for the A-final.

  1 Eastin, Ella           SO STAN-PC           1:54.06    1:54.76  
       25.46    28.22    33.36    27.72
  2 Baker, Kathleen        SO CAL-PC            1:53.41    1:54.87  
       24.27    27.86    34.14    28.60
  3 Hansson, Louise        FR USC-CA            1:55.00    1:55.43  
       24.05    28.77    34.33    28.28
  4 Vose, Kirsten          SO USC-CA            1:57.29    1:56.49  
       25.56    30.18    32.94    27.81
  5 Howe, Ally             JR STAN-PC           1:57.31    1:56.81  
       25.38    29.75    34.29    27.39
  6 Williams, Kim          SO STAN-PC           1:58.79    1:56.97  
       25.57    29.34    33.24    28.82
  7 Li, Celina             SR CAL-PC            1:56.25    1:57.87  
       25.29    29.47    34.59    28.52
  8 Blovad, Keaton         FR CAL-PC            1:57.21    1:57.92  
       25.24    28.08    35.47    29.13

Cal’s Abbey Weitzeil blasted a 21.40 in the 50 free prelims to sit two tenths ahead of Simone Manuel heading into the final. Weitzeil’s time surpasses Li Zhesi (21.48) as the top time in the country this season. Manuel touched second in 21.60, and joining that duo in the middle of the pool for what should be a quick final are Cal’s Farida Osman (21.73) and Arizona’s Katrina Konopka (21.95).

Also qualifying for the final were UCLA’s Linnea Mack (22.03), Cal’s Amy Bilquist (22.04), Stanford’s Lia Neal (22.10) and USC’s Anika Apostalon.

  1 Weitzeil, Abbey        FR CAL-PC              21.64      21.40  
       10.31    11.09                  
  2 Manuel, Simone         SO STAN-PC             21.78      21.60  
       10.57    11.03                  
  3 Osman, Farida          SR CAL-PC              21.96      21.73  
       10.63    11.10                  
  4 Konopka, Katrina       SO ARIZ-AZ             21.81      21.95  
       10.65    11.30                  
  5 Mack, Linnea           SR UCLA-CA             21.93      22.03  
       10.70    11.33                  
  6 Bilquist, Amy          SO CAL-PC              22.18      22.04  
       10.74    11.30                  
  7 Neal, Lia              SR STAN-PC             22.13      22.10  
       10.83    11.27                  
  8 Apostalon, Anika       SR USC-CA              22.08      22.19  
       10.78    11.41

Results

6 comments

  1. Katie Davis

    Kelly Zimmer Baumgartner 4:28…just stretching it out in prelims ??

  2. Chris Rackley

    Why didn’t my high school coach not get me to this point in my 500? Oh, right, I was not that talented. Katie is awesome.

  3. Paul Osborne

    This is the moment you line up on the blocks and think I’m coming second……..