Katie Ledecky of Bethesda, Md., wins 800 meter freestyle at London Olympics on Friday

5:00 PM, Aug 3, 2012   |    comments
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  • Katie Ledecky of Bethesda, Md. wins 800 meter freestyle. Photo by US Presswire

BETHESDA, MD (WUSA) Spoiler alert!

A local hero has struck gold at the London Olympics. Katie Ledecky, 15, pulled off a huge upset in the pool, beating the favorites in the 800 meter freestyle and setting an American record.

She could almost hear the screams from Bethesda's Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, where Ledecky's a rising sophomore.

The teenager's face in victory told everything: triumph, disbelief, joy, and satisfaction.

The volume at Stone Ridge was ear-splitting even before the race started, and the screams just kept getting louder. "Oh my God! I'm so excited! I'm freaking out!"

Turn after turn, the teenage phenom and youngest member of the Olympic swim team led their more experienced rivals. "I'm so amazed! She's ahead!"

Perhaps one hundred overwhelmed schoolmates packed a room at the school yelling "Katie, Katie, Katie!" for a friend who never dreamed four years ago that she could even make the Olympics.

Ledecky touched the wall in near world record time, nearly a body length ahead of Spain's Mirela Belmonte Garcia, who took silver, and favorite Rebecca Adlington of Great Britian, who took bronze.

Ledecky finished in 8:14:63, a second and a half faster than the American record set by Janet Evans in 1989.

Written and Reported by Bruce Leshan
9News Now 7 wusa9.com
Twitter: @BruceLeshan

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