Katie Ledecky Named to ESPN’s 20 Most Dominant Athletes of 2018

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Swimming superstar Katie Ledecky was named to ESPN’s list of the 20 most dominant athletes of the year. The panel of experts started by “grading the athletes by the strongest performance measures available in their sport over their most recently completed season, including timed scores, earnings and, wherever possible, advanced metrics.”

“Then, to put those achievements into historical perspective, they compared the top athletes in a sport to the best in their field each year since 1998 and adjusted the results to put those athletes onto one common baseline, yielding our ratings.”

Katie Ledecky was ranked fifth on the list, with the top spot going to gymnastics star Simone Biles. Ledecky was the third highest female athlete on the list after Biles and Ariya Jutanugarn, and was the third highest American athlete behind Biles and MMA star Daniel Cormier.

Ledecky was ranked ahead of some pretty big names including Wimbledon Champion Novak Djokovic, WNBA Finals MVP Breanna Stewart, Stanley Cup Champion Alex Ovechkin and Triple Crown winner Justify, as well as former NBA Finals MVP LeBron James and former Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees.

The List:

  1. Simone Biles, USA, Gymnastics
  2. Eliud Kipchoge, Kenya, Marathon
  3. Daniel Cormier, USA, MMA
  4. Ariya Jutanugarn, Thailand, Golf
  5. Katie Ledecky, USA, Swimming
  6. Chloe Kim, USA, Snowboarding
  7. Breanna Stewart, USA, Basketball
  8. Luka Modric, Croatia, Soccer
  9. Simona Halep, Romania, Tennis
  10. Novak Djokovic, Serbia, Tennis
  11. Yuzuru Hanyu, Japan, Figure Skating
  12. Lewis Hamilton, England, F1
  13. LeBron James, USA, Basketball
  14. Mookie Betts, USA, Baseball
  15. Drew Brees, USA, Football
  16. Justify, USA, Horse Racing
  17. Alex Ovechkin, Russia, Hockey
  18. Patrick Mahomes, USA, Football
  19. James Harden, USA, Basketball
  20. Mike Trout, USA, Baseball

The list cited Ledecky’s two NCAA titles this year, and her world record in the 1500 free at the Indianapolis Pro Swim Series. She followed those performances in the spring with three national titles in July, and then three more gold medals at the Pan Pacific Championships in August.

Ledecky is in her first full year as a professional swimmer, as she decided to forego her remaining two years of eligibility at Stanford, and sign professionally with TYR Sport.

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