Katie Ledecky of the United States celebrates after winning the gold medal in the women's 1500m freestyle final at the FINA Swimming World Championships in Barcelona, Spain, on Tuesday. Ledecky set a new word record of 15:36.53.
BARCELONA, Spain — Missy Franklin got the Americans rolling. Then Katie Ledecky really fired 'em up.
By the end of the night, the U.S. team was awash in medals at the world swimming championships.
Franklin and Ledecky each won her second gold medal of the meet, Matt Grevers led a 1-2 American finish in the backstroke, and there was plenty of reason to celebrate for the red, white and blue on Tuesday.
"We've had an absolutely incredible evening," Franklin said. "I'm so proud of all my teammates."
In all, the Americans claimed three golds, two silvers and a bronze — a strong meet for most nations, certainly quite a haul in a mere two hours.
"A big night for us," said Bob Bowman, head coach of the U.S. men's team.
Everyone was raving about Ledecky, only 16 but already well on her way to becoming one of the country's great distance swimmers. She obliterated the world record in the 1,500-meter freestyle, which may be a non-Olympic event for the women but did nothing to diminish the magnitude of her accomplishment.
After going stroke for stroke with Denmark's Lotte Friis most of the race, with both well under world-record pace, Ledecky really turned it on over the final 200 and beat the mark by more than 6 seconds. Friis also went under the old record, and all it got her was silver.
"It was motivating watching Katie destroy the world record from the ready room," Grevers said. "That really got us psyched."
Franklin cruised through a demanding double, easily winning the 100 backstroke before returning about an hour later to post the second-fastest time in the semifinals of the 200 free.
"It's tough, but it's fun," the 18-year-old said. "I'm super happy with my 100 back. It really got me pumped up for the 200 free."
Grevers touched ahead of teammate David Plummer in the 100 backstroke, and there were Americans on the podium in all five finals. Conor Dwyer picked up a silver behind France's Yannick Agnel in the 200 free, and Jessica Hardy chipped in with a bronze in the 100 breaststroke won by Lithuania's Ruta Meilutyte.
The only disappointment for the U.S. was Ryan Lochte, who labored to a fourth-place finish in the 200 free.
"It wasn't my night," the three-time Olympian said. "But I have to put it behind me because I still have many races to swim."
He hopes to compete in seven events in Barcelona, despite not being able to train as much as usual this year while taking part in his reality television show, "What Would Ryan Lochte Do?"
"It was kind of a tough swim for him," Bowman said. "He has obviously not had a season with his characteristic preparation. But he's racing tough. He'll be back tomorrow. He'll be fine."
Ledecky is clearly in top form. She nearly broke the world record in winning the 400 free before leaving no doubt about the 1,500, touching in a time 15 minutes, 36.53 seconds — nearly a half-lap ahead of the line superimposed on the video screen marking the pace of Kate Ziegler's mark from six years ago, 15:42.54.
"She's probably made in the same factory as Michael Phelps," marveled Mereia Belmonte of Spain, who finished far back in fourth.
Friis took silver in 15:38.88, with New Zealand's Lauren Boyle grabbing the bronze.
|Golden State||21||1st Qtr 4:05|
|Oklahoma City||9:30 PM|
|Vancouver||2||2nd Prd 2:52|
|Arizona||3||2nd Prd 4:48|
|Montreal||3||2nd Prd 1:14|
|Chicago||1||2nd Prd 19:18|
|St. Louis||0||1st Prd 3:50|
|East Tenn St||73||FINAL|
|Winthrop||38||2nd Half 5:07|
|Delaware||58||2nd Half 4:00|
|Jacksonville St||54||2nd Half 2:09|
|Northeastern||58||2nd Half 1:53|
|Sacred Heart||81||2nd Half 5:00|
|Western Carolina||37||2nd Half 6:54|
|Char Southern||60||2nd Half 9:09|
|Western Ill||41||2nd Half 8:01|
|Nebraska Omaha||52||2nd Half 9:45|
|Radford||52||2nd Half 8:57|
|St Francis-NY||42||2nd Half 11:57|
|Wofford||54||2nd Half 6:39|
|Minnesota||59||2nd Half 9:17|
|High Point||61||2nd Half 7:40|
|Samford||45||2nd Half 9:31|
|Nebraska||43||2nd Half 6:17|
|Wagner||46||2nd Half 7:50|
|Mount St Marys||46||2nd Half 7:00|
|Houston||45||2nd Half 7:55|
|Vanderbilt||51||2nd Half 7:20|
|Chattanooga||56||2nd Half 7:06|
|Milwaukee||47||2nd Half 9:28|
|Coastal Carolina||43||2nd Half 8:30|
|Central Conn St||62||2nd Half 5:00|
|Ga Southern||39||2nd Half 18:50|
|SIU Edwardsville||10||1st Half 12:09|
|Green Bay||25||1st Half 5:56|
|Texas-El Paso||16||1st Half 6:29|
|FIU||15||1st Half 7:58|
|Rider||17||1st Half 5:28|
|Eastern Ill||5||1st Half 9:35|
|Charlotte||16||1st Half 6:15|
|North Dakota St||16||1st Half 4:44|
|Old Dominion||22||1st Half 7:20|
|TX-San Antonio||21||1st Half 4:09|
|UT Martin||18||1st Half 7:08|
|Fla Atlantic||25||1st Half 6:32|
|Northern Ariz||27||1st Half 7:16|
|Grand Canyon||19||1st Half 7:00|
|Utah Valley U||13||1st Half 7:00|
|ULM||0||1st Half 20:00|
|Georgia State||7:45 PM|
|Tenn Tech||8:00 PM|
|Southern Utah||8:00 PM|
|Montana State||8:05 PM|
|UC Davis||9:00 PM|
|UC Santa Barbara|
|UC Irvine||9:00 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton||9:00 PM|
|Arizona State||9:30 PM|
|San Diego||10:00 PM|
|St Marys-CA||10:00 PM|
|Oregon State||10:00 PM|
|Long Beach State||10:59 PM|
|William & Mary||77||2nd Half 4:42|
|Coll of Charleston||42|
|Delaware||57||2nd Half 5:34|
|UMBC||17||2nd Half 17:12|
|UMass Lowell||63||2nd Half 3:32|
|Albany||50||2nd Half 6:52|
|Stony Brook||51||2nd Half 8:07|
|Boston College||50||2nd Half 7:30|
|(23) Syracuse||50||2nd Half 9:29|
|(16) Duke||40||2nd Half 10:50|
|Florida||31||2nd Half 10:37|
|NC State||36||2nd Half 11:49|
|(9) Florida State||55|
|Miami-Florida||53||2nd Half 5:39|
|LSU||44||2nd Half 7:26|
|(11) Miss State||35||2nd Half 11:43|
|(2) South Carolina||49|
|Fairfield||66||2nd Half 2:25|
|Marist||49||2nd Half 5:54|
|Quinnipiac||78||2nd Half 10:38|
|Virginia||51||2nd Half 9:45|
|(15) North Carolina||61|
|Pittsburgh||42||2nd Half 9:27|
|(4) Notre Dame||71|
|Ohio State||69||2nd Half 7:37|
|Massachusetts||50||2nd Half 8:30|
|(22) George Washington||51||2nd Half 10:43|
|Saint Louis||30||2nd Half 16:19|
|Wright State||69||2nd Half 3:41|
|Green Bay||56||2nd Half 8:00|
|Western Ky||67||2nd Half 8:30|
|Indiana||58||2nd Half 8:06|
|North Texas||36||2nd Half 11:31|
|Central Arkansas||33||2nd Half 19:22|
|Sam Houston St||22|
|SE Louisiana||36||2nd Half 20:00|
|Incarnate Word||13||1st Half 3:34|
|Stephen F Austin||20|
|Denver||25||1st Half 6:15|
|No Dakota State||29|
|IUPU-Ft Wayne||11||1st Half 3:52|
|IUPUI||13||1st Half 8:52|
|Lamar||23||1st Half 7:32|
|Western Ill||16||1st Half 5:47|
|South Dakota St||27|
|Missouri||22||1st Half 7:12|
|(12) Texas A&M||19|
|(13) Kentucky||24||1st Half 6:50|
|(20) Rutgers||18||1st Half 3:21|
|Southern Miss||10||1st Half 11:24|
|Wisconsin||17||1st Half 8:00|
|North Dakota||7:30 PM|
|Northern Colorado||8:00 PM|
|Eastern Washington||8:00 PM|
|(6) Tennessee||8:00 PM|
|(24) California||8:00 PM|
|(19) Stanford||8:00 PM|
|(7) Oregon State|
|Chicago State||8:00 PM|
|Utah Valley U|
|San Francisco||8:00 PM|
|Santa Clara||9:00 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton|
|UC Santa Barbara||9:00 PM|
|Long Beach St|
|Cal Poly||9:00 PM|
Poll: With Adrian Peterson's suspension overturned, what should the Vikings do?