14-Year Old Arabella Sims Now Ranks #2 All-Time in 1000 Free in 13-14s

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 8

December 20th, 2019 Club, College, News


The 2019 King Marlin Swim Club Pro-Am Classic kicked off Thursday with relays and 1000 yard freestyles, with the renowned distance group from the Sandpipers of Nevada taking charge early.

In the women’s 1000 yard free, 14-year old Arabella Sims won in 9:32.59 followed by 13-year old Katie Grimes in 9:39.77 – easily outpacing the field (as part of a 1-2-3-4 finish for the Sandpipers). Those two both hit their Olympic Trials cuts in the 800 free at the same meet, NCSA Juniors, this summer, and were also part of a record-setting 800 free relay together. For Sims, the time was a lifetime best by almost 28 seconds, while for Grimes it was a lifetime best by over 22 seconds. Sims now ranks 2nd all-time in the 13-14 age group in the event, behind only Katie Ledecky, who was 6 months away from becoming the world’s best distance swimmer at the time. The 13-year old Grimes now ranks 5th all-time in the age group, and between them the pair swam the 2 fastest 1000 yard frees for 13-14 girls done in the last 5 years.

In the men’s 1000 yard free, it was again a Sandpiper dominated event. Led by 18-year old Sawyer Grimes, the older brother of Katie, in 8:56.08, the Sandpipers went 1-2-4-6-7-8 in the men’s race. Sawyer Grimes now ranks as the 14th-fastest 17-18 in the history of the 1000 yard free.

That time for Grimes is his best by over 14 seconds, which is about the same margin of improvement for his teammate Brice Barrieault, who at 15 took 2nd place in 9:13.37. Charles Brennig from the Swim Houston Aquatics Center took 3rd in 9:20.30.

Day 1 Relay Winners:

  • Berzerker Swimming from Missouri (although in the Arkansas LSC) won the men’s 200 medley relay in 1:34.28. That includes a 26.01 breaststroke split from Missouri State champion Brayden Cole. Olympic bronze medalist Cody Miller swam the breatstroke leg on the medley relay of Sandpipers of Nevada, his home club that he represents in most domestic meets, and split 23.27.
  • The Dads Club Swim Team in Houston pulled off an upset over the vaunted Sandpiper freestyle group in the men’s 800 free relay. The group of Noah Czelusta (1:42.89), Max Zuanich (1:41.51), Batykrhan Timuruly (1:44.19), and Will Sampson (1:49.00) combined for a 7:01.40 winning time.
  • Dads Club swept the 800 free relay, with the women’s team of Sydney Smith (1:49.05), Isabella Alas (1:52.58), Ellie McLeod (1:50.87), and Roxana Nolte (1:54.78) combining for a 7:27.28.
  • The collegiate team from SMU dominated the women’s 200 medley relay, taking both 1st place (1:41.38) and 2nd place (1:45.39). Dads Club was the top 18 & under relay. SMU’s relays included a 23.34 fly split from senior Erin Trahan.


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Bobo Gigi
3 years ago

Impressive times by both girls from Sandpipers.
Katie Ledecky’s best time at 13 was 9.44.06.
In December 2011 14-year-old Katie Ledecky swam 9.29.81 which is still the 13/14 NAG record. She swam 9.25.07 later in March 2012 just after turning 15. Then in July 2012 she was olympic champion in the 800 free.

Reply to  Bobo Gigi
3 years ago

Would love to see another youngster take a stab at the second spot behind the great LEDECKY

Reply to  Heyitsme
3 years ago

Forget about long distances. At least somebody who will close to her at 200. Seven years that Katie is on international scene and still nobody around who will take the baton. It’s not even something that can be named a generation gap. It’s more than generation already. Is American women freestyle swimming in trouble. We see some more or less promising sprinters who are still on outskirts of world level norms. And that’s it.

PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
Reply to  Yozhik
3 years ago

Within the last 3 years American women have won every freestyle variety except the 4×100 free relay at Worlds or the Olympics. The current average age for those athletes who have won medals is like 24. American women freestyle swimming is not in any trouble.

Reply to  PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
3 years ago

24 – that’s what I’m talking about. And yes, there is no trouble right now. Now, but what about tomorrow? Tell me names of American oleksiaks, rocks, titmuses, wangs ….

3 years ago

How did they both win the same event?

3 years ago

How fast was Katie Hoff at 14.? She held the record in 1000 until Ledecky made it under 9min at her last year in school.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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