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.
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