Katie Grimes is a 2021 Olympian in the 800 freestyle and world championships silver medalist in the 1500 freestyle. She made the Olympics by finishing 2nd in the 800 free behind Katie Ledecky at just 15-years-old.
2021 Olympic Trials
In Omaha, Katie Grimes started her schedule with the 400 IM, the event her coaches thought would be her best shot to make the Olympic team, even though she was just 15. She ended up getting nervous and adding to her seed time, posting a 4:46.15 to place 16th and miss out on the final. The next day, in the 400 free, Grimes bounced back, swimming a 4:13.09 in the 400 free and placing 13th.
Grimes’ hard work really came through in the 1500 prelims when she posted a PB of 16:07.33, dropping 25 seconds to head into the final seeded 6th. She blasted that time out of the water in finals, touching at 15:52.12 for 3rd behind Katie Ledecky and Grimes’ teammate, Erica Sullivan. Notably, Grimes came home in 4:11 in that 1500, giving her coaches a good indicator for the 800 free.
In the 800 free, Grimes snuck into the final with an 8:31.73, placing 8th in prelims. At finals, she attacked it similarly to her 1500, and down the stretch of the last 50 passed Haley Anderson to touch for 2nd in 8:20.36, once again splitting 4:11 on her final 400. This qualified her for the 2021 Olympic Games.
2020 Olympic Games
At her first Olympics, Grimes advanced to the final in her lone event, the 800 freestyle. In prelims, she touched at 8:17.05, giving her the 2nd seed behind teammate Katie Ledecky. In the final, she ended up placing 4th, touching in a time of 8:19.38.
2022 World Championship Trials
Grimes went through a similar set of circumstances in Greensboro as she had in Omaha a year prior. In her first event, the 800 free, she placed 4th overall in a time of 8:22.76, missing her first opportunity to re-gain a spot on Team USA. She qualified for the final of the 200 freestyle the next day, an event where the top 6 are typically taken, but she placed 8th with A 1:58.22. On the 3rd day of the meet, Grimes won the 400 IM, touching in a huge PB of 4:36.17, qualifying her for her first LCM world champs. She went on to place 4th in the 400 free final on day 4 (4:06.67), and rounded out the meet by adding another individual event to her schedule, placing 2nd. In the 1500 free to Ledecky in 15:51.36.
2022 World Championships
Grimes started her worlds off strong, qualifying for the 1500 final on day 2. In the final on day 3, Grimes swam a strategic race, finishing strong to place 2nd behind her teammate, Katie Ledecky, earning silver and marking her first international medal.
On the final day of the meet, Grimes had her 2nd individual event, the 400 IM. She battled with Summer McIntosh the whole race, ultimately touching 2nd at 4:32.67, just over half a second behind McIntosh, earning another silver medal. This swim also broke Elizabeth Beisel’s 15-16 US national age group record in the event, which had stood since 2008.