In recent weeks Katie Ledecky has seen several awards come her way. Earlier this month, she was named the 2013 American Swimmer of the Year and World Swimmer of the Year by Swimming World Magazine. In November, she earned the Female Swimmer of the Year Award at the USA Swimming Golden Goggles Awards ceremony.
Now, she can add American record holder in the 1,650-yard freestyle to her list of accomplishments of the past month.
Ledecky won the 1,650 freestyle Saturday night at the 2013 AT&T Winter National Championships in a time of 15:15.17. She smashed the previous record, held by Katie Hoff, by more than nine seconds. Hoff's set the previous record of 15:24.35 in 2008.
On Saturday, Ledecky finished more than 39 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Lindsay Vrooman. Vrooman touched the wall in 15:54.68.
Last year, Ledecky set the Winter Nationals meet record in the event with a time of 15:28.36. She said she was able to swim so much faster this year by applying lessons she's learned throughout the past year.
"I think a lot of that is what I learned this summer with the mile," Ledecky told Jeff Commings of SwimmingWorldMagazine.com. "Especially at world trials, I learned to save my legs a little bit for the first part of the race and that definitely felt really good in this at the beginning. It led to a good final 1,000."
Ledecky acknowledges that she's had a whirlwind year in earning so many awards and breaking so many records. She's taken down more than just an American record. At the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona, Ledecky set world records in the 800- and 1,500-meter freestyles.
And she's appreciative of everything she's experienced, she told Commings.
"It's a great honor to win these awards. It's been a lot of fun the last couple of years being on the national team and swimming at all these international meets… with all these great swimmers," Ledecky told Commings. "So I've had a lot of fun… and everything has just been a blast."
See the full Swimming World TV interview here.