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


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.


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


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


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


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
​ Southern Cal: 3:29.46
**Cal Disqualified**


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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© John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports Katie Ledecky.jpg

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© Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports Katie Ledecky.jpg

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