Ledecky, Jaeger Win to Open Arena Grand Prix at Charlotte
2012 Olympians Katie Ledecky (Bethesda, Md.) and Connor Jaeger (Fair Haven, N.J.) won the 1,500m free and 800m free, respectively, on the opening night of the Arena Grand Prix at Charlotte, presented by UltraSwim, on Thursday at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center.
Ledecky posted a career-best and meet-record time of 16:04.58 in the opening heat of the women’s 1,500m free to easily meet her needed mark to qualify for next month’s Phillips 66 National Championships & World Championship Trials in Indianapolis. Two-time Olympian Chloe Sutton (Mission Viejo, Calif.) was second in 16:07.83, while Chile’s Kristel Kobrich took third in 16:08.08.
“I’m in pretty hard training right now. The time was a lot faster than I thought it would be,” Ledecky said.
Jaeger cruised to the men’s 800 free victory in a meet-record 7:53.35, nearly 10 seconds clear of runner-up Matias Koski of Finland, who was second in 8:03.05. Zane Grothe (Boulder City, Nev.) was third in 8:04.17.
“I felt like we were out pretty fast – me and Michael Klueh. We’ve been training together. We knew the meet record was just under 8 minutes, so we thought we could go for that,” Jaeger said. “I felt like it was a pretty decent race.”
For highlights and meet results, please visit the Arena Grand Prix at Charlotte landing page.
Competition continues Friday, Saturday and Sunday with prelims at 9 a.m., followed by 6 p.m. finals. Tickets are required for all sessions and are on sale now via the Arena Grand Prix at Charlotte, presented by UltraSwim, website.
Following the Arena Grand Prix at Charlotte, the Series will make its final stop May 30-June 2 in Santa Clara, Calif. As part of USA Swimming’s new, eight-year partnership with Arena, the Arena Grand Prix Series will offer swimmers the opportunity to take home prize money for top finishes in all individual Olympic-distance events for each meet in the Series. An overall leaderboard for the Series can be found online here.
The Arena Grand Prix Series serves as an opportunity for swimmers to race against some of the best competition in the country as they continue their preparation for the 2013 Phillips 66 National Championships and World Championships Trials in Indianapolis, Ind., the World University Games in Kazan, Russia, and the FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Spain.