USA Swimming Grand Prix, Columbia: Katie Ledecky Smokes 800 Free, Thiago Pereira, Sinead Russell, Ryan Murphy Strong As Well

COLUMBIA, Missouri, February 12. THE USA Swimming Grand Prix held in Columbia, Mo., came to a close with quite a few new top 10-ranked times going in the long course meter books.

Curl Burke's Katie Ledecky, 14, jumped to fourth in the world rankings this year with a strong time of 8:30.14 in the women's 800 free. Rebecca Adlington (8:22.35), Lotte Friis (8:27.93) and Eleanor Faulkner (8:29.70) are the only other women to swim faster thus far. Ledecky also moved closer to one of Cynthia "Sippy" Woodhead's epic U.S. National Age Group records. In 1978, Woodhead clocked an 8:29.35. She also still owns the 200 (1:58.53) and 400 (4:07.15) records in the 13-14 age division. Jewish Community's Leah Smith placed second tonight in 8:39.52, while Mission Viejo's Chloe Sutton completed the podium with a third-place 8:41.56.

Brazil's Thiago Pereira broke 2:00 in the men's 200 IM with a winning 1:59.91. That performance pushed him to fifth in the world rankings. Canada's Andrew Ford finished second in 2:02.91, while Missouri's Jack Brown picked up third in 2:04.98.

Sinead Russell clipped her Canadian teammate Hilary Caldwell, 2:09.47 to 2:09.84, in the women's 200 back. Russell rose to sixth in the world, while Caldwell took eighth. Canada swept the podium with a third-place finish from Barbara Jardin, who turned in a 2:11.33. Still on the comeback trail, France's Laure Manaudou finished fifth in 2:13.38 as she works towards making her third Olympic team.

Bolles' Ryan Murphy cruised into first place in the men's 200 back with a 1:59.11, moving to sixth in the world rankings. Canada's Tobias Oriwol finished second in 1:59.45 for 10th in the rankings, while Colombia's Omar Pinzon took third in 1:59.91.

Canada's Julia Wilkinson beat out compatriot Erica Morningstar, 2:13.10 to 2:13.56, in the women's 200 IM. Wilkinson moved up to seventh in the world with the swim, while Morningstar took 11th. Brazil's Joanna Maranhao wound up third in 2:14.05.

Canada's Kier Maitland snared the men's 1500 free title in 15:27.01 for ninth in the world. Compatriot Keegan Zanatta took second in 15:30.29, while Will Brothers completed the Canadian sweep with a 15:32.07 for third.

SwimAtlanta's Amanda Weir, who stands second in the world with a 54.14 from the Austin Grand Prix, won the women's 100 free tonight in 54.41. California's Hannah Wilson placed second in 55.27, while Canada's Victoria Poon placed third in 55.38.

Brazil's Cesar Cielo topped the men's 100 free in 49.51 for 14th in the world rankings. Canada's Richard Hortness finished second in 49.97, while Tucson Ford's Matt Grevers had a strong day after getting engaged to Annie Chandler atop the men's 100 back podium. Grevers earned third in 50.12. Notably, Fred Bousquet won the B final in 49.69.