Bella Sims Moves to #9 All-Time in 15-16 Age Group with 1:44.21 200 Free

by Madeleine Lepesant 3

April 09th, 2021 News

2021 GAIN Invitational

  • April 9-11, 2021
  • Selby Aquatic Center, Sarasota, Florida
  • Short Course Yards (25 yards) Prelims/Long Course Meters (50 meters) Finals
  • Psych Sheets
  • Meet Central

15-year-old Bella Sims of Sandpipers of Nevada cracked through the 1:45 barrier in the 200-yard freestyle for the first time on Friday in prelims at the 2021 GAIN Invitational. Sims swam 1:44.21 to lead the field of qualifiers for tonight’s final and, in the process, moved into the top-10 all-time for 15-16 girls in the event.

Sims’ previous best time was 1:45.01, which placed her 20th all-time in the age group. After her Friday performance, Sims rose to #9 in U.S. historical rankings with one year left to improve her standing. Her time from this morning bumped Simone Manuel, who swam a 1:44.22 at the 2013 NCSA Junior Nationals, down to #10 and knocked Katie Hoff‘s 1:44.32 from 2006 out of the top 10.

Sims went for it on the first 100, taking it out in a 50.39, and she came home in 53.82. Her first 100 split put her ahead of the next competitor by 1.25 seconds, and she used the second 100 to extend her lead for a comfortable victory.


Rank Swimmer Time Year
1 Katie Ledecky 1:42.03 2013
2 Dagny Knutson 1:42.81 2008
3 Missy Franklin 1:43.15 2012
4 Regan Smith 1:43.27 2018
5 Isabel Ivey 1:43.64 2016
6 Annika Murray 1:43.68 2017
7 Sippy Woodhead 1:44.10 1979
8 Jasmine Tosky 1:44.11 2010
9 Bella Sims 1:44.21 2021
10 Simone Manuel 1:44.22 2013


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Pacific Whirl
2 years ago

She dropped another time in 500 too.

Coach Bethany
Reply to  Pacific Whirl
2 years ago

That 500 was 4:32 would have won NCAA NC’s. Still a year to improve this age group.

Inclusive Parent
2 years ago

The amazing swim on his list is that Sippy Woodhead remained at the top from 79 to 2008. Hard to imagine no one beating Ledecky before 2042, but that’s the staying power. Congrats Bella on making a very elite list.