By Jim Rusnak//Director of Editorial | Thursday, March 5, 2020
Katie Ledecky opened the TYR Pro Swim Series at Des Moines Wednesday with a win in the women’s 1500m freestyle, turning in a time of 15:29.51. It was the fifth-fastest performance of all time in this event, and the fastest time in the world this year by more than 30 seconds. Ledecky now holds all 10 of the top 10 performances of all time in the 1500m free.
Olympian and U.S. National teamer Leah Smith was second in 16:16.34, followed by Kristel Kobrich of Chile in third in 16:22.35.
“I thought I would have a good time based on what I was going in training,” Ledecky said. “It’s six seconds faster than I was in December, so it’s good to see progress there.
“I’m really excited about (the women’s 1500) coming to the Olympics. Obviously I want to do really well in that event this year, so at the moment I’m really trying to set myself up well for it.”
On the men’s side, National Teamer Arik Katz won the 1500 in 15:10.94, outpacing fellow National Team members Jordan Wilimovsky (2nd, 15:12.49) and Zane Grothe (4th, 15:28.16). Akaram Mahmoud of Wolfpack Elite was third in 15:16.56.
“Mid-way through, I was just trying to stay strong, stay smooth and hold my pace,” Katz said. “I could see how close it was, and when I saw that I was on (Wilimovsky and Mahmoud’s) feet, I just really wanted to try my best to stay with them and see what would happen.”
The second day of the TYR Pro Swim Series at Des Moines begins tomorrow with prelims starting at 9:30 a.m. CT and finals beginning at 6:30 p.m. CT. Preliminary action can be streamed on usaswimming.org while finals will be broadcasted live on the Olympic Channel, while NBC Sports Network will have a same-day delayed showing beginning at 9:30 p.m. CT.