Katie Ledecky tops U.S. rankings in race she plans to skip this summer

Getty Images
0 Comments

Katie Ledecky is the fastest U.S. woman in the 400m individual medley this year. Katie Ledecky does not plan to race the 400m individual medley at the world championships in July.

In yet another incredible feat, Ledecky finished second in the 400m IM at a meet in Mesa, Ariz., on Friday, took a 24-minute break and then won the 200m freestyle.

In the 400m IM, Ledecky clocked 4:38.16, getting edged by Canadian Mary-Sophie Harvey by .11 of a second.

Ledecky ranks No. 7 in the world in the 400m IM this year and first among Americans by a whopping 2.21 seconds. Last year, Ledecky ranked No. 5 in the U.S. in the 400m IM but never raced it fully tapered or at the Olympic Trials.

It is very early in the season. Swimmers are training not to peak in Mesa but at the U.S. Championships in two months, but Ledecky has certainly proven her prowess extends beyond the freestyle events.

Ledecky has never swum an event other than a freestyle at a U.S. Championships. She said in interviews Thursday and Friday that the 400m IM is not on her radar for this summer.

“I’m not really planning to [race it internationally], at least at this point,” Ledecky said on NBCSN. “That was mainly just to get some really tough racing in.”

Ledecky chose to race the 400m IM on Friday because she wanted to challenge herself with two finals in one session. She needed a race to complement her 200m freestyle.

Ledecky is planning to race a 1500m free and a 200m free in the same session at worlds in July, but the 1500m free wasn’t on the program in Mesa. So she went with the 400m IM, a similarly grueling event.

“It’s a pain like no other,” Ledecky said Friday.

Ledecky had the second-fastest butterfly split in the 400m IM and the fastest backstroke split. Her breaststroke was weak, seventh-fastest in the eight-woman field.

But she closed with a 100m freestyle split that was the fastest of the A finals in Mesa — including the women’s and men’s races.

Ledecky is set to race the 200m individual medley and the 800m freestyle to close the Mesa meet on Saturday. NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app will air finals coverage at 8 p.m. ET.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Olympic champion races at swim meet, 26 weeks pregnant