USOC honor for Ledecky; Stanford freshmen on USA junior team


Top performances throughout August earned future Stanford swimmer Katie Ledecky of Bethesda, Md., Athlete of the Month recognition, the United States Olympic Committee announced Tuesday.

Ledecky became the first woman to win four individual gold medals (200-, 400-, 800- and 1,500-meter freestyle), while anchoring the women's 800 freestyle relay to the gold medal at the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships, held Aug. 21-24 in Gold Coast, Australia.

Ledecky also captured three national titles at the 2014 Phillips 66 National Championships, held August 6-10 in Irvine. At the national championships, Ledecky broke the 400 freestyle world record with a time of 3:58.86, and then eclipsed her own records in the 400 freestyle and 1,500 freestyle at the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships.

Meanwhile, USA Swimming announced its 2014-15 National Junior Team roster, honoring the nation's top up-and-coming swimmers.

The National Junior Team roster is comprised of the top six swimmers in each Olympic event. Team members must be age 18 or under on Sept. 1, 2014.

On the women's squad is Stanford freshman Ally Howe (200 IM), the former Sacred Heart Prep standout. On the men's team are Stanford freshmen Curtis Ogren (200 back, 200 IM, 400 IM), Andrew Liang (100 fly), Patrick Conaton (200 back) and Liam Egan (200 free, 400 free, 1,500 free).

Howe, Ogren and Liang all swam for Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics this past summer.

Each member of the Team USA squad at last month's Junior Pan Pacific Championships was named to the National Junior Team. That team captured a combined 49 medals, including 28 gold, across pool and open water competitions in Maui, Hawaii.

Eighteen swimmers -- nine men and nine women -- earned National Junior Team status in at least three events.

Swimmers were selected for the USA Swimming National Junior Team based on their times in Olympic events from the combined results of all USA Swimming and FINA sanctioned meets, as well as 2014 YMCA Long Course Nationals, from Jan. 1, 2014, to Sept. 1, 2014. The top six athletes in each event made the National Junior Team, however, relay lead-offs, time trials, swim-offs and intermediate splits were not considered.

In other swim news, Ledecky and current Stanford freshman Simone Manuel (Sugar Land, Texas) headline a list of nearly 1,800 prep swimmers honored by USA Swimming last week as 2013-14 Scholastic All-America selections.

By virtue of their 4.0 grade point averages and national championship wins at last month's USA Swimming Phillips 66 National Championships, Ledecky and Manuel received the only two perfect scores among the 1,782 swimmers honored this year.

PASA had 10 boys and 10 girls make the team.

The boys included Joao Ama, Jeremy Babinet, Ryan Drover, Corey Gutierrez, Albert Gwo, Joe Kmak, Daichi Matsuda, Cyrus Morrison, Curtis Ogren and Winston Wang.

The girls featured Gabrielle Bethke, Jennifer Campbell, Marie-pierre Delisle, Leah Goldman, Alexandra Grimes, Fiona Hon, Ally Howe, Heidi Katter, Lisa Kaunitz and Jayna Wittenbrink.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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