Katie Ledecky
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Katie Ledecky helps shatter American record in NCAA Champs debut

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Katie Ledecky wasted no time breaking records at a new meet, the NCAA Championships.

The Stanford freshman captured her first NCAA title in her championships debut, anchoring the Cardinal to victory in the 4×200-yard freestyle relay and breaking the American record by more than three seconds.

Olympic medalists Simone Manuel and Lia Neal and Ella Eastin swam the first three legs, and Ledecky capped it off, touching the wall in 6 minutes, 45.91 seconds. Stanford set the previous American record of 6:49.42 earlier this season with Neal, Eastin, Ledecky and Katie Drabot.

Ledecky had the second-fastest split of any swimmer for any school in the event, a 1:40.46. Louisville sophomore Mallory Comerford split 1:40.21.

Full results are here.

Ledecky races individual events the next three days at NCAAs in Indianapolis — the 500-yard free on Thursday, the 200-yard free on Friday and the 1,650-yard free on Saturday.

The intriguing event is the 200-yard free, an event Ledecky has lost twice this season to Manuel. Now, Comerford, who is five months younger than Ledecky, must not be ignored, either.

Stanford is favored to take home its first NCAA women’s team title since 1998, when the Cardinal were led by another freshman — Misty Hyman, who would go on to win the 2000 Olympic 200m butterfly.

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USA Hockey to start reaching out to potential replacement players

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USA Hockey will begin reaching out to “alternate players” to determine their interest in playing for the U.S. at the women’s world championship next week amid a potential boycott by its national team.

The contact is taking place in the event a resolution cannot be reached between USA Hockey and the women’s national team in a wage dispute.

“It’s important for everyone to understand clearly that our objective is to have the players we named as the U.S. women’s national team be the ones that compete in the world championship,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey, in a statement. “Productive conversations have taken place this week and are ongoing in our collective efforts to reach a resolution.”

The alternate players are in the professional NWHL and college, according to USA Today, a report that USA Hockey would not confirm.

U.S. captain Meghan Duggan has said every player in the U.S. national team player pool, plus under-18 national team players, committed to not playing at worlds unless the wage dispute is resolved.

The world championship tournament starts March 31 in Plymouth, Mich.

As of Thursday evening, no resolution has come between USA Hockey and its women’s national team. They met formally on Monday for more than 10 hours, with both sides calling it productive.

Neither side has said when its next scheduled meeting will take place.

On Tuesday, USA Hockey said it postponed a pre-worlds camp that was to run through next Tuesday in Traverse City, Mich., and canceled a scheduled Friday exhibition against Finland.

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NHL asked for decision on Olympics by end of April

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International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel tells The Associated Press he needs to know by the end of April whether NHL players will be cleared to play in the South Korea Olympics next year.

NHL team owners have made it clear they don’t want to stop their season again for the Winter Games and put their stars at risk of injury. The reluctance has come up before and yet the NHL has participated in the Olympics since 1998. This time, however, there seems to be an impasse.

The head of the NHL Players Association, Donald Fehr, says the players want to participate and hopes the league will take advantage of the chance to market the game in Asia.

However, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly says without “material change to the current status quo, NHL players will not be participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics.”

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