Katie Grimes Clocks Her Fastest 800 Free Since Tokyo Olympics (8:21.87)


By Riley Overend on SwimSwam


  • May 26-28, 2023
  • William Woollett Aquatics Center
    • Irvine, CA
  • LCM (50 meters)
  • Results on MeetMobile: “2023 CA NOVA-Speedo Grand Challenge”

Katie Grimes blazed her fastest 800-meter freestyle time since the Tokyo 2021 Olympics at the Speedo Grand Challenge on Sunday in Irvine, California.

The 17-year-old Sandpipers of Nevada standout reached the wall in 8:21.87, touching first by nearly 15 seconds ahead of club teammate Claire Weinstein. Grimes hasn’t been that quick since the Tokyo Olympics two years ago, when she posted a personal-best 8:17.05 in the heats before placing fourth in the final (8:19.38). Those are the only sub-8:20 swims of her career.

Grimes now ranks as the eighth-fastest woman in the world this season and the second-fastest American behind Katie Ledecky (8:13.56).

2022-2023 LCM Women 800 Free


2 Erika
NZL 8:18.00 04/06
3 Ariarne
AUS 8:19.33 03/10
4 Isabelle
GER 8:19.65 04/22
5 Summer
CAN 8:20.19 02/09

View Top 26»

Notably, Grimes was a few tenths quicker than the 8:22.72 she clocked at last April’s International Team Trials. She didn’t swim the 800 free at last year’s World Championships, but her time on Sunday would have placed her fifth in the 2022 final.

Grimes’ 8:21.87 was her fastest time of the year by a wide margin, having gone 8:27.73 in January and 8:26.22 in April.

She also triumphed in the 400 free (4:08.57), 400 IM (4:38.01), and 200 fly (2:09.68) over the weekend while earning a runner-up finish behind Sandpipers teammate Bella Sims in the 200 IM (2:12.67) on Friday, just .01 seconds off her lifetime best.

A two-time World Championships silver medalist in the 1500 free and 400 IM, Grimes became the youngest U.S. Olympic swimmer in 27 years when she debuted at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics. She qualified for Worlds last year in both the pool and open water. Only one American has ever competed in both the pool and open water during the same Olympics (Jordan Wilimovsky, 2016).

SwimSwam: Katie Grimes Clocks Her Fastest 800 Free Since Tokyo Olympics (8:21.87)

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