2023 Speedo Grand Challenge
- May 26-28, 2023
- William Woollett Aquatics Center
- Irvine, CA
- LCM (50 meters)
- Results on MeetMobile: “2023 CA NOVA-Speedo Grand Challenge”
With one month remaining until the 2023 International Team Trials, Bella Sims gave a glimpse of what we might see in Indianapolis with a pair of personal bests in the 200-meter IM and 100 butterfly at this weekend’s Speedo Grand Challenge in Irvine, California.
The 18-year-old Florida commit fired off a 2:12.19 to win the 200 IM, edging Sandpipers of Nevada teammate Katie Grimes by less than half a second. Sims shaved more than two seconds off her previous-best 2:14.32 from January’s Pro Swim Series stop in Knoxville, Tennessee. Grimes missed her lifetime best by just .01 seconds with a 2:12.67. Both Sims and Grimes would have placed fourth at last year’s International Team Trials with their times on Friday night.
Fellow Sandpipers standout Claire Weinstein placed fifth in the 200 IM final with a personal-best 2:16.40, taking a second off her previous best.
Sims was 46th in the U.S. girls’ 17-18 national age group (NAG) rankings, but her big drop boosted her up to 19th. She went 2:16.93 at last April’s International Team Trials, meaning she has dropped nearly five seconds over the past year. Her biggest improvement this time around came on the breaststroke leg, where she dropped over a second.
|Sims, January||Sims, May|
Sims tallied another best time in the 100 fly, shaving about a tenth off her previous best from January with a 59.74. In the process, she moved up from 79th to 69th in the NAG rankings.
Sims nearly posted another lifetime best in the 50 free, tying for second place with a 26.17 that was just .05 seconds off her best time from March.
Grimes reached the wall first in the 400 free (4:08.57) and 400 IM (4:38.01), about three seconds and six seconds off her best times, respectively. She was also the top seed during Sunday morning’s prelims of the 800 free (8:33.49) and 200 fly (2:13.14).