15-Year-Old Katie Grimes Makes Olympics; #3 U.S. 15-16 Behind Ledecky, Evans


Back in 2012, a 15-year-old Katie Ledecky dropped six seconds in her 800 free to stun the U.S. Olympic Trials field and make her first Olympic team.

Nine years later, a veteran Ledecky won the 800 free, then turned around to watch another 15-year-old stun the field for an Olympic berth. 15-year-old Katie Grimes of the Sandpipers of Nevada dropped 11 seconds to surge to second place behind Ledecky, earning her first-ever Olympic berth.

Grimes went 8:31.73 out of heats – that was a six-second drop that snuck her into the final in 8th place. Then in the final, the young distance star found another gear, smashing an 8:20.36 to outswim open water Olympian Haley Anderson for the second Olympic spot behind Ledecky.

The time for Grimes moves her to #3 all-time in USA Swimming’s 15-16 ranks. She sits behind two absolute legends: Ledecky herself and former world record-holder Janet Evans.

Grimes’ swim caps a stellar week for the Sandpipers of Nevada. 16-year-old Bella Sims made the Olympic team as a member of the 4×200 free relay for the Sandpipers. And she swam to 5th in the 800 free final tonight, moving to #5 all-time in the 15-16 age group’s history.

Top USA Swimming 15-16s All-time, 800 Free

  1. Katie Ledecky (2013) – 8:13.86
  2. Janet Evans (1988) – 8:17.12
  3. Katie Grimes (2021) – 8:20.36
  4. Becca Mann (2014) – 8:22.45
  5. Bella Sims (2021) – 8:23.55

Among swimmers of all ages, Grimes is now the #7 U.S. swimmer of all-time and Sims the #11 U.S. swimmer of all-time.

When Ledecky made her Olympic team at age 15, she was 8:19.78 at Trials – just half a second faster than Grimes was. Ledecky kicked off her brilliant international career later that summer, dropping to 8:14.63 to win Olympic gold.

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club swimmer
1 month ago

Imagine your 15 year old daughter makes the Olympic team and you’re stuck at home watching NBC cover the 800 (with the commercial break included). gotta feel bad for these parents this year

Reply to  club swimmer
1 month ago

I’m pretty sure they were there. And there was no commercial break during the 800. People will just make stuff up to be angry about.

Reply to  ACC
1 month ago

I think club swimmer referred to the Olympics, not Trials and club swimmer is probably right about possible commercial break during the event in Tokyo.

club swimmer
Reply to  ACC
1 month ago

i was referring to when she gets to swim in tokyo

Reply to  club swimmer
1 month ago

Ah, my mistake. Sorry!

Reply to  club swimmer
1 month ago

A lot of complaining for a guy who clearly didn’t watch it because there where no commercial breaks.

Texas Tap Water
Reply to  Idk
1 month ago

He obviously referred to Tokyo

1 month ago

Great job Katie!

Side note: Wonder what ledecky could do on the sandpipers training with all these elite distance swimmers.

Last edited 1 month ago by Swimmer
1 month ago

What a heroic race by Katie Grimes. Big brain bigger heart.

1 month ago

Oh man, I wonder how it went the last time the US had a 15 year old girl qualify for the 800 free…

Reply to  Yaboi
1 month ago

She won gold in London shocking the field 😉😉😉

Wave 1.5 Qualifier
1 month ago

Insane race. The battle for second in Lanes 2 and 8, one elite veteran and one total up-and-comer.
Loved it.

Reply to  Wave 1.5 Qualifier
1 month ago

Yeah, it was such a close race and they were too far apart to see each other.

1 month ago

Congratulations Katie Grimes!

Good luck in Tokyo!


1 month ago

Looks like she is the same height as Ledecky if not taller and those long arms are going to come in handy when it comes to close finishes.

Reply to  Jonathankkh
1 month ago

good observation …why the downvotes dear trolls ?

1 month ago

I am still stand by my yesterday prediction that Bella Sims and Katie Grimes will swept all 400-1500 spot between them in Paris 2024 olympic trials unless Ledecky goes back to Bruce Gemmell again or probably trying to train in Sandpipers of Nevada haha

Last edited 1 month ago by RJP

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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