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Katie Ledecky beaten in NCAA Championships individual medley

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Katie Ledecky lost an NCAA Championships race for the first time in eight career finals, taking second in the 400-yard individual medley on Friday.

Stanford teammate Ella Eastin easily beat Ledecky by 3.69 seconds and grabbed the American and NCAA records from Ledecky, too. Eastin’s 3:54.60 is 1.93 seconds faster than Ledecky’s time from the Pac-12 Championships last month.

How did she do it?

“Honestly, I don’t know,” Eastin said on ESPNU. “I’ve built a lot of endurance this year, and it really showed.”

Eastin is decorated in her own right. She three-peated as NCAA 400-yard IM champion and held the American record in the event before Ledecky lowered it last month.

Eastin would have made the 2017 World Championships team had she not been disqualified for an illegal turn after finishing in second place at nationals.

Ledecky, a sophomore, has never contested the 400m IM at a U.S. Championships, Olympics or world championships, nor did she race the 400-yard IM at 2017 NCAAs. She raced the 400 IM instead of the 200 freestyle on Friday.

All of Ledecky’s races at major meets before Friday were in freestyle events. Her only defeat in a major international meet individual final was the 200m freestyle at 2017 Worlds.

Ledecky won five NCAA titles last year and the last two nights anchored the 800-yard freestyle relay and captured the 500-yard freestyle by eight seconds.

Meet results are here.

Later Friday, Lilly King of Indiana three-peated in the 100-yard breaststroke, breaking her American and NCAA records and winning in 56.25 seconds. King is also the Olympic and world champion in the 100m breast, plus the world-record holder.

“Always excited to get the record, but was really hoping to break 56 today,” King said.

Louisville’s Mallory Comerford became the second woman after Missy Franklin to break 1:40 in the 200-yard freestyle, winning in 1:39.80. Co-Olympic 100m free champ Simone Manuel of Stanford was third. Comerford and Ledecky tied for the 2017 NCAA 200 free title.

Stanford’s Ally Howe won the 100-yard backstroke in 49.70, one hundredth shy of her NCAA and American records. Olympic 100m backstroke silver medalist Kathleen Baker of Cal-Berkeley was third.

NCAAs conclude Saturday. Ledecky swims the 1,650-yard freestyle. She is the overwhelming favorite, having gone 35 seconds faster than anyone this season.

Ledecky hasn’t discussed with Stanford whether she will return for her junior season or turn pro, according to the school.

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MORE: Rio Olympic breaststroke gold medalist retires

Emily Seebohm keeps Australia from winless swim worlds (video)

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Australia is on the board at the swimming world championships.

Emily Seebohm won the Aussies’ first gold medal on the seventh day of the eight-day meet, ensuring the formerly dominant swim nation doesn’t go winless at an Olympics or worlds for the first time since 1986.

Seebohm, who swept the backstrokes at the 2015 Worlds, won in a national record 2:05.68 in Budapest on Saturday. She edged Hungarian Katinka Hosszu by .17, with American Kathleen Baker taking bronze.

Baker also took silver in the 100m back at the Olympics and earlier this week.

Seebohm bounced back from a poor Rio Games, where she was seventh in the 100m back and 12th in the 200m back. She was diagnosed with endometriosis later in 2016 and underwent surgery in December. She also had wisdom teeth removed in January.

Given that, her tears on the pool deck after Saturday’s victory were understandable.

“I guess for me it was really hard after Rio, I knew there was a lot going on in my body, and I really pushed through in Rio,” Seebohm said, according to Swimming Australia. “I had to rush back into the water and train really hard for this and I’m just amazed at what I have achieved tonight.”

The Aussies won seven combined silver and bronze medals this week before Seebohm’s breakthrough. Still, they could finish behind China for second place in the medal standings.

Australia has fought with China and Japan as the world’s second-best swim nation for the last several years. This comes after an era where the Aussies challenged the U.S. for pool supremacy in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Women’s 200m Backstroke Results
Gold: Emily Seebohm (AUS) — 2:05.68
Silver: Katinka Hosszu (HUN) — 2:05.85
Bronze: Kathleen Baker (USA) — 2:06.48
4. Kaylee McKeown (AUS) — 2:06.76
5. Kylie Masse (CAN) — 2:07.04
6. Hilary Caldwell (CAN) — 2:07.15
7. Daria Ustinova (RUS) — 2:07.35
8. Regan Smith (USA) — 2:07.42

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Canada earns first women’s swimming world title as oldest world record falls

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Oh Canada, the drought is over.

Kylie Masse became the first Canadian female swimmer to win a world title, breaking the 100m backstroke world record at the world championships in Budapest on Tuesday.

Masse, 21, clocked 58.10, relegating American Kathleen Baker to silver by .48. Baker took silver and Masse bronze in Rio behind Hungarian Katinka Hosszu.

Baker led after 50 meters in Budapest, but Masse had the fastest second half by .48 to nab the world record by .02.

She wiped the longest-standing women’s world record off the books from Great Britain’s Gemma Spofforth at the 2009 Worlds.

Australian Emily Seebohm, who swept the 2015 Worlds backstrokes, took bronze Tuesday.

Masse ended a prolonged Canadian women’s swimming drought at worlds. Canadian women won 18 world medals before this year, but all were silver and bronze.

Two Canadian women — Anne Ottenbrite and Penny Oleksiak — have won Olympic gold.

Women’s 100m Backstroke Results
Gold: Kylie Masse (CAN) — 58.10

Silver: Kathleen Baker (USA) — 58.58
Bronze: Emily Seebohm (AUS) — 58.59
4. Olivia Smoliga (USA) — 58.77
5. Anastasiia Fesikova (RUS) — 58.83
6. Daria Ustinova (RUS) — 59.50
7. Simona Baumrtova (CZE) — 59.71
8. Kathleen Dawson (GBR) — 59.90

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