NCAA Day Two Finals: Ledecky Demolishes 500 Free Record Books With 4:24.06

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Katie Ledecky continued to attack the record books at the 2017 NCAA Championships in Indianapolis on Thursday night by winning the 500 freestyle in 4:24.06. The Stanford freshman bested her own U.S. and NCAA records in the event to capture one of the Cardinal's three titles on day two at IUPUI Natatorium.

200 FREESTYLE RELAY

NCAA Record: 1:26.15 (Stanford, 2017) 1:25.59 (Cal, 2017)
Meet Record: 1:26.15 (Stanford, 2017) 1:25.59 (Cal, 2017)
American Record: 1:26.15 (Stanford, 2017) 1:25.91 (Stanford, 2017)
US Open Record: 1:26.15 (Stanford, 2017) 1:25.59 (Cal, 2017)

​ROLL ON YOU BEARS! Cal just UNLOADED on the 200 freestyle relay to take the win and shatter the eight-hour-old NCAA record with a blistering 1:25.59. ​Abbey Weitzeil​ kicked it off for the Golden Bears with a solid 21.59 followed by ​Maddie Murphy ​(21.83), ​Amy Bilquist​ (21.26), and the game-changer on the anchor, ​Farida Osman ​(20.91). Stanford had the lead going into the final leg, but ​Ally Howe​ (21.29) was unable to hold off the hard-charging Osman and the Cardinal settled for second with a 1:25.91. Those are the only two times in history under the 1:26 mark, and, of note, Stanford's time will stand as the American record as Cal's Osman is from Egypt. Georgia snagged the bronze with a 1:26.49, led by a blistering 21.32 from ​Olivia Smoliga ​on the lead-off. Smoliga had the fastest flat start in the event. ​

1.) California: 1:25.59 (NCAA, US Open Record)
2.) Stanford: 1:25.91 (American Record)
3.) Georgia: 1:26.49
4.) NC State: 1:27.25
5.) Arizona: 1:27.39
6.) Louisville: 1:27.52
7.) Auburn: 1:27.73
8.) Wisconsin: 1:28.01


500 FREESTYLE

NCAA Record: 4:25.15 (Katie Ledecky - Stanford, 2017) 4:24.06 (Katie Ledecky - Stanford, 2017)
Meet Record: 4:28.37 (Katie Ledecky - Stanford, 2017) 4:24.06 (Katie Ledecky - Stanford, 2017)
American Record: 4:25.15 (Katie Ledecky - Stanford, 2017) 4:24.06 (Katie Ledecky - Stanford, 2017)
US Open Record: 4:25.15 (Katie Ledecky - Stanford, 2017) 4:24.06 (Katie Ledecky - Stanford, 2017)

​At what point does one run out of superlatives for ​Katie Ledecky​? The Stanford phenom unleashed a 4:24.06 in the 500 freestyle, over a second faster than her 4:25.15 from Pac-12s. Flipping at 1:43.49 and 2:10.07 at the 200 and 250, respectively, she was on pace to potentially drop a 4:22 high or 4:23 low, but a couple of 27s sprinkled in there threw her off that pace. Regardless, Ledecky is transcendent. Her 4:24 is almost unfathomable and will not be touched anytime soon by a ​swimmer ​not​ named Katie Ledecky. Equally as impressive, though, ​Leah Smith ​of Virginia threw down a monster 4:28.90 -- becoming the second woman ever to break the 4:30 barrier in this race. A 4:28 in the 500 freestyle is an unbelievable swim, and it is very clear that the presence of Ledecky has elevated Smith's game to another level. Touching in third was Indiana's ​Kennedy Goss​,​ who dropped close to two seconds from her prelims swim to post a 4:36.13.​

1.) Katie Ledecky (Stanford): 4:24.06 (NCAA, American, US Open Record)
2.) Leah Smith (Virginia): 4:28.90
3.) Kennedy Goss (Indiana): 4:36.13
4.) Mallory Comerford (Louisville): 4:36.16
5.) Hannah Moore (NC State): 4:36.85
6.) Yirong Bi (Michigan): 4:37.30
7.) Danielle Valley (Wisconsin): 4:38.31
8.) G Ryan (Michigan): 4:40.28

200 IM

NCAA Record: 1:51.65 (Ella Eastin - Stanford, 2016)
Meet Record: 1:51.65 (Ella Eastin - Stanford, 2016)
American Record: 1:51.65 (Ella Eastin - Stanford, 2016)
US Open Record: 1:51.65 (Ella Eastin - Stanford, 2016)

​KATHLEEN BAKER!​ The Cal Golden Bear rattled the record books with a blazing-fast 1:51.69, just four-hundredths of a second off of ​Ella Eastin's​ 1:51.65 from last season. That is the second win for Cal in three races Thursday night, as the Bears look to make a huge push in the team race and pull closer to Stanford. Baker took off in this race and never looked back. Eastin made a push on the freestyle leg, out-splitting Baker 26.8 to 27.2, but it was not enough to overtake Baker. The defending champion finished second with a 1:52.27. ​Madisyn Cox ​of Texas finished in third with a 1:52.58.​

1.) Kathleen Baker (California): 1:51.69
2.) Ella Eastin (Stanford): 1:52.27
3.) Madisyn Cox (Texas): 1:52.58
4.) Sydney Pickrem (Texas A&M): 1:53.30
5.) Bethany Galat (Texas A&M): 1:54.16
6.) Alexia Zevnik (NC State): 1:54.74
7.) Louise Hansson (Southern Cal): 1:54.79
8.) Asia Seidt (Kentucky): 1:55.19


50 FREESTYLE

NCAA Record: 21.21 (Olivia Smoliga - Georgia, 2016) 21.17 (Simone Manuel - Stanford, 2017)
Meet Record: 21.21 (Oliva Smoliga - Georgia, 2016) 21.17 (Simone Manuel - Stanford, 2017)
American Record: 21.12 (Abbey Weitzel, 2016)
US Open Record: 21.12 (Abbey Weitzel, 2016)

WHAT. A. RACE. Just when Stanford needed a boost, ​Simone Manuel​ unloaded a new NCAA record in the 50 freestyle with a 21.17, just barely missing ​Abbey Weitzeil's​ American record of 21.12 from 2016. It looked like ​Liz Li​ from Ohio State was going to take the win with about 10 yards to go, but Manuel put her head down and buried the finish to take the win. ​Olivia Smoliga​, the defending champion in this event, touched for the silver in 21.27, and ​Liz Li grabbed the bronze with a 21.29. 

1.) Simone Manuel (Stanford): 21.17 (NCAA Record)
2.) Olivia Smoliga (Georgia): 21.27
3.) Liz Li (Ohio State): 21.29
4.) Farida Osman (California): 21.38
5.) Abbey Weitzeil (California): 21.58
6.) Maddie Murphy (California): 21.76
7.) Caroline Baldwin (UNC): 21.82
8.) Chantal Van Landeghem (Georgia): 21.85


​​400 MEDLEY RELAY

NCAA Record: 3:26.14 (Stanford, 2016)
Meet Record: 3:26.14 (Stanford, 2016)
American Record: 3:26.14 (Stanford, 2016)
US Open Record: 3:26.14 (Stanford, 2016)

In a very shocking result, Cal was ​disqualified​ for an early exchange on the anchor leg with ​Abbey Weitzeil after touching first with a 3:26.18. ​Kathleen Baker​ got the Golden Bears out to an early lead with a 49.80, breaking the meet record and becoming only the third woman in history to crack the 50-second barrier. Fortunately, it looks likes her time will stand despite the relay result for Cal. With that being said, Stanford is the 2017 NCAA champion with a time of 3:26.35.
Taking first place points in a relay without ​Simone Manuel​ is huge for the Cardinal as they look to build their lead.  

After the backstroke leg, ​Lilly King​ blasted a 56.17 to give the Hoosiers the lead at the halfway mark. ​Gia D'alessandro ​held onto that lead for Indiana by splitting a 50.99, but the rest of the pack came creeping up on the freestyle leg. As the Hoosiers faded to fifth, Texas A&M claimed the silver behind a strong 50.28 butterfly leg from ​Sarah Gibson,​ and a very well-rounded Texas squad picked up the bronze with a 3:27.74.

​1.)​ Stanford: 3:26.35
2.)​ Texas A&M: 3:27.60
3.)​ Texas: 3:27.74
4.)​ Louisville: 3:28.05
5.)​ Indiana: 3:28.58
6.)​ Georgia: 3:29.10
7.)
​ Southern Cal: 3:29.46
**Cal Disqualified**

​​TEAM SCORES

1.) Stanford - 213
2.) Cal - 136
3.) Texas - 119
4.) Georgia - 112
5.) Texas A&M - 108
6.) Louisville - 93
7.) Michigan - 74
8.) NC State - 71
9.) Southern Cal - 68
10.) Indiana - 61

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© Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports Asia Seidt.jpg

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© Sipa USA Caeleb Dressel

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