By Karen Price | Nov. 29, 2018, 7:04 p.m. (ET)
Katie Ledecky looks on prior to the women's 800-meter freestyle finals at the 2018 Winter National Championships on Nov. 28, 2018 in Greensboro, N.C.

 

Katie Ledecky got her second win in as many nights at the 2018 Winter National Championships, claiming victory in the women’s 400-meter freestyle Thursday in Greensboro, North Carolina.

In typical Ledecky fashion, the five-time Olympic champion and world record holder in the 400 opened up a sizable lead early on and went on to win in 4:00.35, nine seconds ahead of second-place finisher and fellow Olympian Hali Flickinger. Flickinger finished in 4:09.71, followed by Ashley Twichell and Kaersten Meitz, who tied for third.

Also earning a second victory of the meet was Olympian Jordan Wilimovsky, who got the win in the men’s 400-meter freestyle. Wilimovsky came from behind, taking over only in the last 50 meters of the race to finish in 3:50.78. Coming in second was first-half leader Mitch D’Arrigo, who competed at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 for Italy but now represents the U.S., finished in 3:51.91. Kevin Litherland was third in 3:54.34.

Both Ledecky and Wilimovsky opened the meet on Wednesday night with victories in the 800-meter freestyle.

In the women’s 200 IM final, Madisyn Cox held steady for the win in 2:10.76 ahead of prime challenger Kelsey Wog, of Canada, who finished in 2:11.69. Canadian Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson was third in 2:14.24.

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Nic Fink came in second in the men’s 200 IM to South African Olympian Christopher Reid in a close race that saw Reid finish in 2:02.18 and Fink in 2:02.97. Jonathan Tyber was third in 2:03.41.

Olympic champion Simone Manuel earned her first win of the meet with the top performance in the women’s 50 freestyle. Her time of 24.39 was just off her best performance of the year at the distance and earned her the win over Madison Kennedy with a 24.87. Anna Hopkin was third in 24.93.

In the last race of the night, eight-time Olympic medalist and three-time Olympian Nathan Adrian was the only swimmer under 22 seconds in the men’s 50 free with a winning time of 21.94. Payton Sorenson was second in 22.45 and Aaron Greenberg was third in 22.71.

The winter nationals, which run through Saturday at Greensboro Aquatic Center, are the first opportunity for athletes to qualify for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Ledecky became the first athlete to qualify for Olympic Trials Wednesday night with her winning time in the 800 free.

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.