The old man acquitted himself well.
The teen phenom did it again.
So went a chilly, rainy day two of the Pan Pacific Championships in Southport, Australia, where Michael Phelps put himself on next year’s World Championships team in the 100-meter freestyle and Katie Ledecky rallied the U.S. 4 x 200 free relay to victory with a stunning anchor leg Friday night.
Ledecky, 17, who should henceforth be known as Kate the Great, was more than a second behind the Australians when she took off. At the end, after doing her part in 1 minute, 54.36 seconds, she was 1.07 seconds ahead as the relay crushed the Pan Pacs meet record that four different U.S. women set in 2010.
“I knew I had to sort of think of it as my individual race and not swim it too fast in the first 100,” Ledecky said after swimming nearly two seconds faster than any U.S. woman ever had on this relay at Pan Pacs.
Shannon Vreeland (1:57.89), Missy Franklin (1:56.12), Leah Smith and Ledecky clocked 7:46.40, more than 4 ½ seconds better than the old record.
Ledecky won the 200 and 800 freestyles Thursday. She is scheduled to swim the 400 free Saturday.
Phelps, 29, finished fourth in the 100 free but his times in both the heats (48.45) and final (48.51) made him the second fastest U.S. swimmer in the race this season. A time in the top two from Pan Pacs and nationals is needed to make the world team in an event.
The fastest U.S. swimmer of 2014, Nathan Adrian, had a strong race in the heats (48.05), becoming the leading qualifier, but was no match for Australia’s Cameron McEvoy in the final. McEvoy won in 47.82 to Adrian’s 48.30.
"My finish was really bad," Phelps said of the 100 final. "As a whole, I am happy to be on the world championship team in the race."
Phelps and the other celebrated old man of the pool, Ryan Lochte, 30, joined with Winnetka’s Conor Dwyer and Matt McLean to win the 4 x 200 relay. All four had won gold medals in that event at the 2012 Olympics, the first three from the final.
Lochte, 29, had the most impressive split, 1:45.57.
Naperville’s Kevin Cordes had misfortune in the U.S. team’s major international meet for the second straight year.
After leading the qualifiers in the 100 breaststroke heats with a personal best time of 59.70, Cordes had problems with his goggles in the final and, apparently distracted, was disqualified for doing an illegal second dolphin kick coming off the wall.
A year ago, Cordes false started in the medley relay final, costing the U.S. team the gold medal.
A day after making the world team with a personal best in the 800 free, Becca Mann, 16, of Homer Glen took foirth in in the 400 IM "B" final with a time (4:39.78) that missed her two-month-old personal best by just .15.
“Making the Pan Pac team was such an honor, and it keeps getting better,” Mann said.