Stanford-bound Katie Ledecky did it again Sunday, breaking another world record in winning the 1,500-meter freestyle on the final night of the Pan Pacific Championships at Gold Coast, Australia.
Ledecky, who will be a high school senior this fall in Bethesda, Maryland, broke her own record by nearly six seconds in a time of 15 minutes 28.36 seconds. The teen finished almost 40 meters ahead of runner-up Lauren Boyle, a former Cal swimmer who competes for New Zealand.
It was Ledecky's third world record in the past 15 days, and fifth this summer.
Bay Area swimmers shined Sunday, winning seven of the United States' 10 medals.
Ledecky, 17, became the first woman to win four individual gold medals at a single Pan Pacific Championships, and was named female swimmer of the meet. She won the 200 meters, 400, 800, 1500 freestyle events, as well as was a member of the winning the 800 freestyle relay.
"I knew it was my last race of the meet, and the last race of the season," Ledecky told reporters in Australia. "I've had a really good season, and I wanted to finish on a good note. I didn't want to walk away with a meet thinking, 'Oh, that was just OK.' I was planning on digging in deep the last 50, but I had to kind of wait until the last 25. I just put it all in there the last 25."
Recent Stanford graduate Maya DiRado, of Santa Rosa, also won a gold medal Sunday, winning the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:11.16, while former Cal star Nathan Adrian anchored America's winning 400 medley relay team that included Michael Phelps.
Berkeley teammates Anthony Ervin and Adrian took second and third, respectively, in the 50 freestyle.
Cal's Missy Franklin and Stanford's Simone Manuel helped the United States take second in the 400 medley relay while former Cal star Caitlin Leverenz was third in the 200 individual medley.
Ledecky got off to a typically fast start, going under world record pace in the first 200 meters. But she slowed until the final 500 meters.
Ledecky lapped three swimmers and finished 27 seconds ahead of Boyle.
"That was probably one of my most painful races," Ledecky said. "It was painful, but it paid off in the end. I figured pretty early on in the race that I was on world-record pace. I wasn't sure about the middle if I fell off too much, because it did really hurt. I was pretty sure I had it, but breaking it by six seconds was pretty surprising, I guess."
In the women's 200 IM, DiRado trailed Australia's Alicia Coutts through the first 100 meters, then moved up to challenge in the breaststroke leg, along with Leverenz. DiRado edged Coutts in the final freestyle leg.
"My fly has been feeling really easy this week, so I think I was able to get out well," said DiRado, who also got a medal in the 400 IM. "I knew I had to push the backstroke because all the other girls are really good at breaststroke. I think my breaststroke must have been OK, and then I had a lot left coming home in freestyle, so it all Sunday came together."
Cal's Josh Prenot finished fourth in the men's 200 breaststroke while the Cardinal's Manuel was fourth in the women's 50 free.