Bethesda teen gets ready for next Olympic qualifier

Meghin Moore, special to

WASHINGTON – Disappointment was met with excitement as Katie Ledecky, a 15-year- old from Bethesda, swam in the Olympic team trials in Omaha, Neb.

Ledecky was one spot away from making the Olympic team in the 400 meter freestyle, but was able to break a 24-year-old record for her age group held by Janet Evans.

She was disappointed at first, but told The Washington Post that beating Evans’ record was a “pretty good second option.”

She may have come in third place in the 400, but she still has another event for which to try and qualify — the 800 meter freestyle. Ledecky has a good chance at qualifying in that event. Only the top two competitors go to London to compete.

Both Kelly Parsons, sports reporter for The Washington Times and her swim coach, Tom Ugast, agree that the 800 is the event to really watch.

“We didn’t feel that the 400 free was her best event. We all feel she has a great chance in the 800 free,” Ugast tells WTOP.

“The 800 is what she came in here as the highest seed for, so I think she’s got the chance to make the team in the 800,” Parsons says.

Ledecky will swim again on Saturday, with her coach and family cheering her on in the stands.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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