By USA Swimming | Saturday, December 1, 2018
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Five-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky (Bethesda, Md./Nation’s Capital Swim Club/Alto Swim Club) won for the third straight night Friday to highlight the USA Swimming Winter National Championships at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.
After taking the women’s 800- and 400-meter freestyle titles earlier in the meet, Ledecky held off her teammate and fellow Olympic champion Simone Manuel (Sugar Land, Texas/Alto Swim Club/First Colony Swim Team) to take home the 200m free victory in 1 minute, 55.32 seconds. Manuel, winner of last night’s 50m free, closed quickly over the final 100 meters to finish second in 1:57.92.
“It’s fun,” Ledecky said about facing Manuel. “We do Thursday morning 200 free work together. That’s what we’ve been doing this year and it’s a lot of fun. That’s the one practice where we’re doing the same thing. It’s always fun to have somebody that’s really competitive, driven and going for the same goals.”
“I thought it was pretty good. My pacing was where I wanted it to be,” said Manuel about her race. “My strategy was exactly where I wanted it to be. I did the same strategy that I did this morning, but my coach just wanted me to it faster and I was able to do that. I think 1:57.9 was pretty decent for my first 200 since essentially [summer] Nationals.”
After winning the 200m individual medley on Thursday, Madisyn Cox (Lubbock, Texas/Longhorn Aquatics) completed a sweep of the women’s IM events in Greensboro with nearly a 3-second victory in the 400 in 4:38.52. Olympian Jay Litherland (Alpharetta, Ga./Dynamo Swim Club) won the men’s 400m IM crown in 4:20.15.
Olympian Jacob Pebley (Corvallis, Ore./Team Elite) posted a lifetime best in the men’s 200m free with a time of 1:49.33 before coming back later in the session to take second in the 100m back in 53.99 – just four-hundredths off winner Christopher Reid of South Africa’s 53.95 effort.
National Team members swept the 100m breaststroke victories, as Micah Sumrall (Pflugerville, Texas/ Chattahoochee Gold Swim Club) won the women’s race in 1:07.51, while Nic Fink (Morristown, N.J./Athens Bulldog Swim Club) took the men’s title in 1:00.18.
The 100m butterfly victories went to Amanda Kendall (Fairfax, Va./Mission Viejo Nadadores) in 57.80 and Giles Smith (Baltimore, Md./Phoenix Swim Club) in 52.94, while Canadian Olympian Kylie Masse won the women’s 100m back in 59.27.
NBC Sports and USA Swimming will feature daily coverage from Greensboro. A live stream of daily prelims and Saturday finals will air on usaswimming.org. Following a taped Sunday broadcast on NBC Sports Network, a one-hour package from Winter Nationals will air on NBC on Dec. 16 at 3 p.m. ET.