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By returning to Christian roots, the nation can achieve greatness once again
Topic - Katie Ledecky
Olympian Katie Ledecky won the 800-meter freestyle at the Austin Grand Prix on Sunday about 10 minutes after she swam in another event.
Ledecky continued her banner year Saturday by shattering the American record in the 1,650-yard freestyle at the Winter National Championships. The 16-year-old from Bethesda, Md., beat all her competitors Saturday by at least 39½ seconds.
Ledecky's remarkable performance at the world championships in Barcelona, which saw her win gold in all four events she swam — setting new world records in two of them — led to the honor.
The 16-year-old from Bethesda, Md., also won the Phillips 66 Performance Award for her record-breaking swim in the 1,500-meter freestyle at the world championships in Spain this summer.
Ledecky completed her 200 meters in 1:56.32, leaving the Americans in the lead, but Missy Franklin had to overtake Australia's Alicia Coutts with a 1:54.27 final leg to give the U.S. the gold.
The 16-year-old from Bethesda, Md., barely missed the world record in the 400 freestyle, but there was no doubt it would fall in the 1,500. Ledecky and defending world champion Lotte Friis went at it stroke for stroke much of the race, the Danish swimmer slightly ahead.
Ledecky, of Bethesda, Md., was a breakout performer at last summer's London Olympics, where she pulled off a stunning victory in the 800 free.
While Franklin's potential was well known before London, Bethesda native Ledecky burst onto the scene a year ago as a 15-year-old when she won the 800 free with the second fastest time in history.
She beat 2012 Olympic teammate Chloe Sutton by 20.6 seconds and broke Janet Evans' long-course championship record by nearly 5 seconds. It also was the fastest time in the world this year.
Katie Ledecky got good luck wishes from Missy Franklin and a high-five from Michael Phelps on her way to the pool deck for her first Olympic swimming final at 15.
Nine years ago, an eager Katie Ledecky waited patiently outside the pool at the University of Maryland in hopes of meeting then-18-year-old Michael Phelps, a soon to be two-time Olympian and now the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time.
Katie Ledecky was just 11 years old the last time the nation's best swimmers packed Omaha's CenturyLink Center, vying for one of 26 spots on the 2008 U.S. Olympic swimming team.
The Washington area will be well-represented in the women's 800-meter freestyle at the London Olympics, as Katie Ledecky and Kate Ziegler qualified for the Games on Sunday night in Omaha, Neb., with the second- and third-fastest times in the world this year.
As 15-year-old Bethesda native Katie Ledecky stepped up to the block for the final heat of the women's 400-meter freestyle at the 2012 Olympic Team Trials on Tuesday night, she could look to her right and see an Olympic bronze medalist; her left and see a FINA world champion.
Katie Ledecky agreed that Phelps has nothing to lose by diving back in.
"It's just for his own personal kind of thing," she said. "He's already done so much. Whether he adds a couple more gold medals or not, what he's done has been so incredible, whatever he does next should be accepted by all."