July 2, 2012 1:04 AM
See if this tale sounds familiar: A 15-year-old from Maryland comes out of nowhere to make an Olympic team.
No, not him.
Kathleen Ledecky of Bethesda, Md., last year’s junior national champion in the 400- and 800-meter freestyles, became the youngest member of this year’s United States Olympic swimming team on Sunday night. She pulled away from world championship bronze medalist Kate Ziegler to win the 800 free in 8 minutes 19.78 seconds, breaking Katie Hoff’s 2008 Olympic trials record by more than one second. Ziegler never made up ground the second half of the race and finished in 8:21.87.
“Four years ago, I never knew how to qualify for an Olympic trials,” said Ledecky, whose swim club, Curl-Burke of Burke, Va., produced Olympic gold medalists Tom Dolan and Ed Moses. “I thought it was an unreal thing.
“It’s just unbelievable to think back at where I was, and think about the work I’ve put in these last couple of months with my coach, Yuri Suguiyama. He’s really prepared me and I had a lot of confidence.”
Last Tuesday night Ledecky just missed making the team in the 400 free, finishing third, less than one second behind the runner-up Chloe Sutton. But her time of 4:05 broke Janet Evans’s age-group record of 4:05.45 for 15- and 16-year-olds, which had stood since 1988. Evans still holds the American senior record in the 800, going 8:16.22 in 1989, a world record that stood for 19 years.
Sunday, Ledecky posted the second-fastest time in the world this year.
“I don’t think I was supposed to go out that fast,” she said. “I wasn’t really planning to go out that fast. I went out with it, and I just kept trying to hold onto it.”
Ziegler, who swam in the lane next to Ledecky, congratulated her right there in the pool.
“I can remember being 15, making my first international team, certainly not the Olympics,” said Ziegler, 24, a first-time Olympian. “But just the experience that she has ahead of her is so exciting, and I’m excited for her, because I’ve been there and it’s the coolest.”
Katie Ledecky was born on March 17th, 1997 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katie_Ledecky
March 17th, 1997
3 + 17 +2+0+1+2 = 25 = her personal year (from March 17th, 2012 to March 16th, 2013) = Exciting. Thrilling. Rooting for the underdog.
25 year + 6 (June) = 31 = her personal month (from June 17th, 2012 to July 16th, 2012) = Competition. Competing. Rising to the challenge. Personal best. Outdoing herself.
31 month + 1 (1st of the month on Sunday July 1st, 2012) = 32 = her personal day = Winning. The best. #1. Olympics.
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