Janet Evans on what she admires most about Katie Ledecky (video)

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For more than 15 years, Janet Evans simultaneously held the 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle world records.

Now, those records have belonged to Katie Ledecky for nearly two years. She has a long way to go to match Evans’ longevity, but Ledecky’s talent is simply overwhelming in Evans’ opinion.

“She swims an 800 freestyle like it’s a 200 freestyle,” Evans told Michele Tafoya on NBC Sports’ coverage of the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials. “What I appreciate the most is that she literally takes a race out like it’s a 100-meter freestyle or a 200-meter freestyle, and then she keeps that pace going for 800 meters or, even though it’s not in the Olympics, the 1500 meters.”

Ledecky, 19, swept the 200m, 400m and 800m frees in Omaha this week. The 1500m free is not on the Olympic program for women (it is for the men, but the men don’t have the 800m free).

Ledecky has entered 15 finals at major international meets and won all of them. She will likely be in at least four more in Rio, including the 4x200m free relay.

Evans, 44, has joked that she’s old enough to be Ledecky’s mother. But they actually swam in the same meet in 2012, when Evans entered the U.S. Olympic Trials for the first time since 1996.

Evans saw the competitive drive in Ledecky’s eyes four years ago, when Ledecky made the team in the 800m free but missed in the 400m free, finishing third.

“I remember seeing how disappointed she was when she didn’t make the team [in the 400],” Evans said in 2014. “I remember thinking, oh, yeah, she wants this. She’s pretty hungry. Then I remember watching her 800, where she just took it out and took no prisoners.”

MORE: The code to Katie Ledecky’s goals in Rio

Bobby Joe Morrow, triple Olympic sprint champion, dies at 84

Bobby Joe Morrow
AP
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Bobby Joe Morrow, one of four men to win the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at one Olympics, died at age 84 on Saturday.

Morrow’s family said he died of natural causes.

Morrow swept the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, joining Jesse Owens as the only men to accomplish the feat. Later, Carl Lewis and Usain Bolt did the same.

Morrow, raised on a farm in San Benito, Texas, set 11 world records in a short career, according to World Athletics.

He competed in one Olympics, and that year was named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year while a student at Abilene Christian. He beat out Mickey Mantle and Floyd Patterson.

“Bobby had a fluidity of motion like nothing I’d ever seen,” Oliver Jackson, the Abilene Christian coach, said, according to Sports Illustrated in 2000. “He could run a 220 with a root beer float on his head and never spill a drop. I made an adjustment to his start when Bobby was a freshman. After that, my only advice to him was to change his major from sciences to speech, because he’d be destined to make a bunch of them.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Johnny Gregorek runs fastest blue jeans mile in history

Johnny Gregorek
Getty Images
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Johnny Gregorek, a U.S. Olympic hopeful runner, clocked what is believed to be the fastest mile in history for somebody wearing jeans.

Gregorek recorded a reported 4 minutes, 6.25 seconds, on Saturday to break the record by more than five seconds (with a pacer for the first two-plus laps). Gregorek, after the record run streamed live on his Instagram, said he wore a pair of 100 percent cotton Levi’s.

Gregorek, the 28-year-old son of a 1980 and 1984 U.S. Olympic steeplechaser, finished 10th in the 2017 World Championships 1500m. He was sixth at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.

He ranked No. 1 in the country for the indoor mile in 2019, clocking 3:49.98. His outdoor mile personal best is 3:52.94, ranking him 30th in American history.

Before the attempt, a fundraiser was started for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, garnering more than $29,000. Gregorek ran in memory of younger brother Patrick, who died suddenly in March 2019.

“Paddy was a fan of anything silly,” Gregorek posted. “I think an all out mile in jeans would tickle him sufficiently!”

MORE: Seb Coe: Track and field needs more U.S. meets

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