Katie Ledecky cruised to a nearly 11-second victory in the 800-meter freestyle Wednesday on the opening night of the United States national swimming championships.
Ledecky, a Bethesda resident, was under her own world-record pace through the first 300 meters before dropping off and finishing in 8 minutes, 11.98 seconds. She failed to crack the top 10 performances in the event, which all belong to her.
Leah Smith chased Ledecky all the way and touched second in 8:22.79.
Ledecky earned the 14th national title of her career and a spot in the event at next month's Pan Pacific championships in Tokyo, site of the 2020 Olympics.