August 24, 2014
Katie Ledecky Sets Second Straight World Record at Pan Pacific Championships
Team USA wraps meet with 40 total medals, including 14 gold
GOLD COAST, Australia – Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky (Bethesda, Md.) broke her second world record in as many nights – this time eclipsing her own1500-meter freestyle mark by nearly six seconds with a time of 15:28.36 – on the final evening of the Pan Pacific Championships on Sunday at the Gold Coast Aquatic Center.
The swim marked her third world record in 15 days and fifth this summer. She took down the mark in the 400m free earlier this month at the Phillips 66 National Championships, and then broke it again in last night’s finals.
With tonight’s swim, Ledecky became the first woman to win four individual gold medals at a single Pan Pacific Championships, and was named female swimmer of the meet for her efforts. She finished the meet with gold in the 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m freestyle events, as well as the 800m free relay.
“I knew it was my last race of the meet, and the last race of the season,” Ledecky said. “I’ve had a really good season, and I wanted to finish on a good note. I didn’t want to walk away with a meet thinking, ‘Oh, that was just OK.’ I was planning on digging in deep the last 50, but I had to kind of wait until the last 25. I just put it all in there the last 25.”
Also winning gold for Team USA on Sunday were Maya DiRado (Santa Rosa, Calif.) in the 200m individual medley with a time of 2:11.16; and the men’s 400m medley relay of Matt Grevers (Lake Forest, Ill.), Kevin Cordes (Naperville, Ill.), Michael Phelps (Baltimore, Md.) and Nathan Adrian (Bremerton, Wash.) in 3:29.94.
On the final day of competition, Team USA tallied 10 total medals – three gold, four silver and three bronze.
Sunday’s silver medalists included Phelps in the 200m IM (1:56.04), Anthony Ervin (Valencia, Calif.) in the 50m free (21.73), Nic Fink (Morristown, N.J.) in the 200m breast (2:08.94) and the women’s 400m medley relay (3:57.41). The relay consisted of Missy Franklin (Centennial, Colo.), Jessica Hardy (Long Beach, Calif.), Kendyl Stewart (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Simone Manuel (Sugar Land, Texas).
Team USA’s bronze medalists from the final night of competition were Connor Jaeger (Fair Haven, N.J.) in the 800m free (7:47.75), Caitlin Leverenz (Tucson, Ariz.) in the 200m IM (2:11.23) and Adrian in the 50m free (21.80).
Over the four nights of competition, Team USA collected 40 medals – 14 gold, 12 silver and 14 bronze – and the Pan Pacific Championships trophy. Complete meet details, including full results, can be found here.
NBC will air two its second broadcast from the meet Sunday from 1-2:30 p.m. EDT Todd Harris, Rowdy Gaines and Alex Flanagan will have the call.
Ledecky’s 1500m free was as masterful as it was dominant.
She was under world record pace for the first 200 meters, then fell off that pace until the 1000-meter mark. At that point, not only was she 25 meters ahead of her next-closest competitor, but she continued to build her lead on the world record line displayed on the stadium’s video monitor with each lap.
By the end of the race, she had lapped three swimmers and was about 40 meters ahead of runner-up Lauren Boyle of New Zealand, who touched more than 27 seconds behind in 15:55.69. Brittany MacLean of Canada was third in 15:57.15.
“That was probably one of my most painful races,” Ledecky said. “It was painful, but it paid off in the end. I figured pretty early on in the race that I was on world-record pace. I wasn’t sure about the middle if I fell off too much, because it did really hurt. I was pretty sure I had it, but breaking it by six seconds was pretty surprising, I guess.
In the women’s 200m IM, DiRado trailed Australia’s Alicia Coutts through the first 100 meters, then moved up to challenge in the breaststroke leg, along with teammate Leverenz. She then outsplit Coutts by 58-hundredths of a second down the homestretch for the win. Coutts took silver in 2:10.25, followed by Leverenz for bronze.
It was DiRado’s second medal of the week after taking silver in the 400m IM on the second night of competition.
“My fly has been feeling really easy this week, so I think I was able to get out well,” DiRado said. “I knew I had to push the backstroke because all the other girls are really good at breaststroke. I think my breaststroke must have been OK, and then I had a lot left coming home in freestyle, so it all came together.”
It definitely all came together for Grevers, Cordes, Phelps and Adrian in the men’s 400m medley relay. After diving in about even with Japan for the breaststroke leg, Cordes gave the U.S. a body-length lead at the 200-meter mark. Phelps built on that lead in the butterfly and Adrian brought it home for the win.
Japan was second in 3:32.08, followed by Australia in 3:33.45.
“This is the best relay to be on,” Phelps said. “We have such a great tradition with this relay. I remember in 2000, when (Aaron) Peirsol and I were talking about wanting to be on this relay in 2004, and I’ve had the privilege to be on this relay pretty much the whole way since then, and it’s been great.
Also swimming in tonight’s finals were Cierra Runge (Cochranville, Pa.), who finished fourth in the women’s 1500m free in 16:04.48; Michael McBroom (The Woodlands, Texas), who finished fifth in the men’s 800m free in 7:52.84; Tyler Clary (Riverside, Calif.), who finished fifth in the men’s 200m IM in 1:58.79; Manuel, who finished fourth in the women’s 50m free in 24.70; Ivy Martin (Madison, Wis.), who finished seventh in the women’s 50m free in 25.18; Micah Lawrence (Pflugerville, Texas), who finished fifth in the women’s 200m breast in 2:24.60; Breeja Larson (Mesa, Ariz.), who finished sixth in the women’s 200m breast in 2:24.90; and Josh Prenot (Santa Maria, Calif.), who finished fourth in the men’s200m breast in 2:11.05.
The Pan Pacific Swimming Championships are held under the oversight of the Pan Pacific Swimming Association. The Association was established in the mid-1980s and is made up of the four founding swimming federations – Swimming Australia, Swimming Canada, the Japan Amateur Swimming Federation and USA Swimming. These charter nations developed the concept of the swimming competition to provide their national teams with first-class international competition between the two major international swimming competitions – the Olympic Games and the FINA World Championships.
Note: USA Swimming’s media guide for the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships can be accessed here.