Katie Ledecky wins race by 1 minute, shatters NCAA, American records

katie ledecky
Getty Images
0 Comments

Katie Ledecky shattered the 1,650-yard freestyle NCAA record by 20 seconds and her own American record by 10 seconds on Sunday.

The Stanford freshman covered 66 lengths of the pool at an Ohio State meet in 15:03.92. The runner-up clocked 16:04.25 and still had four full lengths of the pool to go when Ledecky finished. Full results are here.

Ledecky’s time would have placed third in the men’s 1,650-yard freestyle that directly followed her event in Columbus. Her 1,000-yard split time also broke the NCAA record in that event, which she had set in her third college meet earlier this month.

Ledecky, after taking four gold medals in Rio, has now broken NCAA records in three events (500-, 1,000- and 1,650-yard frees) in her first four meets as a Stanford Cardinal.

Ledecky and many international stars have less experience in NCAA-size pools of 25 yards, since Olympic pools are 50 meters. That makes NCAA records more breakable for somebody like Ledecky, whose main 25-yard-pool experience came in high-school meets.

Before Sunday, Ledecky last swam a 1,650-yard freestyle race on Dec. 6, 2014, a 15:13.30 that stood as the American record until now.

Olympic teammate Leah Smith held the NCAA 1,650-yard record of 15:23.30 that fell Sunday. In fact, Smith also held the NCAA records in the 500- and 1,000-yard freestyles before this season.

On Saturday, what’s believed to be a 74-race win streak held by Ledecky was snapped by a fellow U.S. Olympic champion.

What’s the next record Ledecky could take? The NCAA and American 200-yard freestyle mark of 1:39.10 held by Missy Franklin. Ledecky swam 1:44.18 earlier this season.

MORE: What Bruce Springsteen told Katie Ledecky

Kendall Gretsch wins six gold medals at Para Nordic Ski Worlds

Kendall Gretsch
Getty
0 Comments

Kendall Gretsch, who won Paralympic titles at the last Summer and Winter Games, added another six gold medals at the World Para Nordic Skiing Championships in Sweden last week.

Gretsch, 30, earned seven total medals in seven days between biathlon and cross-country skiing.

Gretsch won gold medals in three different sports across the last three Paralympics: biathlon and cross-country skiing in 2018 (two years after taking up the sports), triathlon in 2021 and biathlon in 2022.

She plans to shift her focus back to triathlon after this winter for 2024 Paris Games qualification.

Gretsch, born with spina bifida, was the 2014 USA Triathlon Female Para Triathlete of the Year. Though triathlon was added to the Paralympics for the 2016 Rio Games, her classification was not added until Tokyo.

Also at last week’s worlds, six-time Paralympian Aaron Pike earned his first Paralympic or world championships gold medal in his decade-plus career, winning a 12.5km biathlon event.

Oksana Masters, who won seven medals in seven events at last year’s Paralympics to break the career U.S. Winter Paralympics medals record, missed worlds due to hand surgery.

The U.S. also picked up five medals at last week’s World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in Spain — three silvers for five-time Paralympian Laurie Stephens and two bronzes for 17-year-old Saylor O’Brien.

Stephens now has 18 career medals from world championships, plus seven at the Paralympics.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

World champion skier Kyle Smaine dies in avalanche at age 31

Kyle Smaine
Getty
0 Comments

Kyle Smaine, a retired world champion halfpipe skier, died in an avalanche in Japan on Sunday, according to NBC News, citing Smaine’s father. He was 31.

Smaine, a 2015 World champion in ski halfpipe, had been doing ski filming in Japan, sharing videos on his Instagram account over the past week.

The native of South Lake Tahoe, California, finished ninth in ski halfpipe at the 2016 Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado.

In 2018, Smaine won the fifth and final U.S. Olympic qualifying series event in ski halfpipe but did not make the four-man team for PyeongChang. His last sanctioned international competition was in February 2018.

Late Sunday, two-time Olympic champion David Wise won the X Games men’s ski halfpipe and dedicated it to Smaine.

“We all did this for Kyle tonight,” Wise said on the broadcast. “It’s a little bit of an emotional day for us. We lost a friend.”