Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Katie Ledecky nearly broke her own record in the 400-meter freestyle event at the USA Swimming Olympic trials on Monday. Ledecky, competing for a spot in the 2016 Rio Olympics, posted a time of 3:58.98, with her world record, set back in 2014, standing at 3:58.37.
Ledecky's time was good enough for first place in the event and a spot on the Olympic team in Rio. In the 400-meter freestyle, she will represent the United States alongside Leah Smith, who set the second-best time at 4:00.65. Allison Schmitt, who landed a silver medal in the event in 2012, finished in a disappointing fifth and has not qualified for Rio.
Ledecky is also set to compete in the 50-, 100-, 200- and 800-meter freestyle events after dropping the 400-meter individual medley from her list. Michael Phelps was originally going to compete in the 200-meter freestyle on Monday, but he dropped the event and will not participate in trials until Tuesday.
Dana Vollmer, the defending champion in the women's 100-meter butterfly, managed to qualify for her third trip to the Olympic games in the same event on Monday. She won gold in London in what was then world record time. She finished second in qualifying to two-time NCAA 100-yard butterfly champion Kelsi Worrell of Louisville. Worrel's time was 56.48 seconds, to Vollmer's 57.21 seconds.
Ryan Lochte, one of the biggest names in swimming, advanced to the finals of the 200-meter freestyle, where the top six finishers typically make it to Rio for the relay event. Lochte finished fifth overall in the semifinals on Monday, with a time of 1:47.58. Conor Dwyer was tops in the event with a time of 1:46.96.
In the 100-meter backstroke, defending champion Matt Grevers set a blistering time of 52.64 but was only third best in the semifinals. The world record stands at 51.94 seconds, and David Plummer came closest with a time of 52.12 seconds. In second was Ryan Murphy with a time of 52.28 seconds. All three advance to the finals on Tuesday.