Ledecky wins 200m freestyle title at US meet

Katie Ledecky (AFP)
Katie Ledecky (AFP)

Chicago - Five-time Olympic champion Katie Ledecky won the 200m freestyle crown on Wednesday at the US Swim Championships, taking her second title of the qualifying meet for next month's World Championships. 

Ledecky, who won the 800m freestyle on Tuesday after finishing sixth in the 100 freestyle, will swim for titles on Friday in the 400m freestyle and Saturday in the 1 500m freestyle. 

The 20-year-old reigning world and Olympic 200m champion won in 1:54.84, defeating Leah Smith by 1.84 seconds. 

She could swim in four individual events and two relays at next month's World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, with a strong showing at this five-day meet in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

Ledecky captured 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle Olympic gold last year in Rio - defending the 800m crown she won in London - and helped the US women's 4x200m relay win as well. 

Ledecky won the world 400m, 800m and 1 500m freestyle titles and shared in a 4x200m freestyle relay win in 2013 in Barcelona then defended those crowns while adding the 200m world title in 2015 at Russia.

Reigning Olympic 100m and 200m backstroke champion Ryan Murphy won the 200m backstroke crown in 1:54.30, downing Rio Olympian Jacob Pebley by 0.48 of a second. 

Kathleen Baker, the 2016 Rio Olympic 100m backstroke runner-up, won the 200m backstroke crown in 2:06.38 with 15-year-old Regan Smith second in 2:08.55. 

Caeleb Dressel won the 50m butterfly in a meet-record 23.05, breaking the mark of 23.26 set by runner-up Cullen Jones in qualifying. Jones swam 23.27 in the final. 

In the 200m breaststroke, Olympian Kevin Cordes won his third national crown in 2:07.41 while Lilly King took the women's title in 2:21.83. 

Townley Haas won the men's 200m freestyle in 1:45.03 while Kelsi Worrell took the women's 50m butterfly in 25.69.

Top finishers from Wednesday's finals on the second day of the US Swim Championships at Indianapolis, Indiana, a qualifying meet for next month's World Championships in Budapest (all distances meters):

Men

200m freestyle: 1. Townley Haas 1min 45.03secs, 2. Blake Pieroni 1:46.30, 3. Zane Grothe 1:46.39

200m backstroke: 1. Ryan Murphy 1:54.30, 2. Jacob Pebley 1:54.78, 3. Robert Owen 1:57.17

200m breaststroke: 1. Kevin Cordes 2:07.41, 2. Nicolas Fink 2:08.63, 3. Josh Prenot 2:08.72

50m butterfly: 1. Caeleb Dressel 23.05, 2. Cullen Jones 23.27, 3. Tim Phillips 23.37

Women

200m freestyle: 1. Katie Ledecky 1:54.84, 2. Leah Smith 1:56.68, 3. Melanie Margalis 1:56.90

200m backstroke: 1. Kathleen Baker 2:06.38, 2. Regan Smith 2:08.55, 3. Asia Seidt 2:08.99

200m breaststroke: 1. Lilly King 2:21.83, 2. Bethany Galat 2:22.24, 3. Miranda Tucker 2:25.82

50m butterfly: 1. Kelsi Worrell 25.69, 2. Hellen Moffitt 26.19, 3. Kendyl Stewart 26.24

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