Katie Ledecky swims to a win in the women's 800-meter freestyle during the U.S. national championships swimming meet Wednesday, July 25, 2018, in Irvine, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Ledecky wins 200 free at US Nationals, Schmitt takes 2nd

July 26, 2018 - 10:04 pm

IRVINE, Calif. (AP) — Katie Ledecky led all the way to win the 200-meter freestyle at the U.S. national championships on Thursday night, earning a second individual event to swim in Japan next month.

Ledecky touched first in 1 minute, 55.82 seconds, second-fastest in the world this year behind her top time of 1:54.66 she swam in June. Looking on was Lakers great Kobe Bryant and one of his daughters.

Ledecky qualified to swim the event at the Pan Pacific championships in Tokyo in August, as well as the 800 free after winning it on Wednesday.

Swimming in the next lane, three-time Olympian Allison Schmitt chased Ledecky the entire race and finished second in 1:54.60. Also earning trips to Japan were third-place Gabby Deloof and Olympian Leah Smith, who was fourth.

The foursome will comprise the 4x200 free relay at Pan Pacs, reuniting Ledecky and Schmitt, who first swam a relay together at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

Andrew Seliskar surprised a field including five Olympians to win the men's 200 free in 1:45.70, third-quickest in the world this year.

Micah Sumrall, who took time off after failing to make the 2016 Olympic team, won the 200 breaststroke by 1.26 seconds. Sumrall, who used to swim under her maiden name of Lawrence, touched in 2:22.06, fourth-best in the world this year. Lilly King, the Olympic 100 breast champion, was fifth.

The men's 200 breast winner was 2016 Olympic silver medalist Josh Prenot in 2:07.28, the world's fastest time this year.

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