Chasing Ledecky: Leah Smith keeps coming after US star

MISSION VIEJO, Calif. (AP) — If Katie Ledecky wasn’t setting world records and piling up Olympic medals, Leah Smith would be the top middle-to-long distance swimmer in the U.S. She’s been doggedly pursuing Ledecky’s relentlessly high standards for the last five years. Smith has had successes of her own, including Olympic medals, although her coach readily admits that Ledecky is the world’s best. Smith is just fine competing in the same era. They will be vying against each other for Olympic berths in several events at the U.S. trials in June, including the 1,500-meter freestyle being contested by women for the first time in Tokyo.