Katie Ledecky helps shatter American record in NCAA Champs debut

Katie Ledecky
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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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