Katie Grimes and Bella Sims Highlight La Mirada CA Senior Invitational

Anya Pelshaw
by Anya Pelshaw 7

January 19th, 2022 Club, News

Road to 2022 Senior Invitational

  • January 14-18, 2022
  • La Mirada Splash! Regional Aquatics Complex, La Mirada, CA
  • Prelims (SCY), Finals (LCM)
  • Meet Mobile: “Road to 2022 @ La Mirada Armada”

La Mirada Armada Swimming hosted a senior invitational from January 14th through the 18th. Most of the teams in attendance are members of the Southern California USA Swimming LSC which makes up the southern part of Nevada as well as the southern part of California (except for San Diego).

Among the teams in attendance were the Sandpipers of Nevada, who sent a handful of swimmers to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. They used this meet as a replacement for the canceled USA Swimming Knoxville Pro Swim Series event.

The meet held prelims at 9 AM local time in short course yards format and then switched to long course meters for finals beginning at 5 PM local time (4 PM on the final day). The meet also held the distance events in long course meters format. 


To kick off the meet, 14-year-old Claire Weinstein (Sandpipers of Nevada-SAND) dropped 8.93 seconds earning a best time and first place finish in the 800 meter freestyle with a time of 8:32.51. Weinstein out-touched SAND’s Bella Sims who swam to a time of 8:32.67. Sims was a member of the 2020 US Olympic Team swimming on the 800 freestyle relay. 

The meet included several showdowns between Olympians Bella Sims and Katie Grimes. They shared four of the same events. Sims came out on top in the prelims SCY 400 IM swimming a time of 4:07.08. Grimes won the LCM 400 IM at finals swimming to a time of 4:41.37. Sims finished in second place swimming a time of 4:46.37. The two also battled it out in the 200 freestyle. Sims swam a time of 1:46.12 SCY earning her first place headed into the final. In the LCM final, Sims (1:59.27) out touched Grimes (1:59.42) to earn third and fourth place finishes respectively.

18-year old Justina Kozan was 2nd in 1:58.85.

SAND’s Claire Weinstein won the event tying the 13-14 NAG LCM record in the process with a time of 1:58.53. 

Sims (4:41.60) and Grimes (4:42.09) battled it out in the prelims for the 400/500 freestyle. The two were joined by Weinstein as the final was a close finish between the three. Grimes earned the LCM 400 freestyle victory in a time of 4:11.17 followed by Weinstein (4:12.34) and Sims (4:13.45). Lastly, the two battled it out in the 100 backstroke. Sims swam a time of 53.27 (SCY) in prelims to earn her second place going into finals, and Grimes swam a time of 54.71 (SCY) placing her fourth going into finals. Grimes ended up out touching Sims at LCM finals swimming to a time of 1:02.56 compared to Sim’s 1:02.73. 

Sims also won the 200 butterfly (1:54.67 SCY prelims, 2:13.91 LCM finals) and 200 IM (1:58.88 SCY prelims, 2:16.93 LCM finals). Grimes had additional victories in the 200 backstroke (1:53.32 SCY prelims, 2:12.43 LCM finals) and the 1500 meter freestyle (16:20.63). 

USC commit Justina Kozan (Unattached) had multiple wins. In the 100 freestyle she swam to second place in prelims (50.13 SCY) and won the event in a time of 56.35 (LCM) in finals. That time was about a half-second off her best of 55.75 (LCM) set in May 2021. She also won the 100 butterfly swimming a time of 54.61 (SCY) in prelims and a 1:01.55 (LCM) in finals. Lastly, she won the 50 freestyle with times of 23.49 (SCY) in prelims and 26.21 (LCM) in finals. Those times were both just off her lifetime bests of 23.28 (SCY) and 25.98 (LCM) respectively.

Cal commit Kathryn Hazle (North Coast Aquatics-NCA) swam to a huge lifetime best in the LCM 200 breaststroke in finals. She won the event in a time of 2:33.51. Her previous best time was 2:37.14 which she set at the 2021 Summer Championships West. 


On the men’s side, SAND’s Brice Barrieault kicked off the meet swimming to a time of 16:02.21 in the 1500 meter freestyle winning the event by over 26 seconds as second place Dillion Wright (SAND) swam to a time of 16:28.34. Barrieault swam a time of 15:32.68 at Wave II Olympic Trials back in June 2021. 

Barrieault, an Army commit, continued his success winning the 400 IM (3:59.28 SCY prelims, 4:38.20 LCM finals) on day 2. He also earned victories in the 200 freestyle (1:41.37 SCY prelims, 1:54.70 LCM finals) and the 200 IM (1:52.14 SCY prelims, 2:10.25 LCM finals). Both of his 200 IM’s were lifetime bests. 

SAND’s Ilya Kharun, an Arizona State commit, swept the butterfly events. He won the 200 butterfly in a time of 2:00.81 LCM, going 1:47.08 SCY in prelims. His long course time was a best time as his previous best was a 2:01.24 LCM set in July 2021. He also won the 100 butterfly in a time of 54.17 LCM going a time of 47.27 SCY in prelims. He was just off his long course best time of 54.08 LCM from July 2021. Back in December 2021, Kharun broke the 15-16 NAG record in the SCY 100 butterfly swimming a time of 45.59.

Mitchell Schott of Irvine Novaquatics (NOVA) earned a win in the 100 freestyle with a time of 51.04 LCM in finals. This was a personal best by 0.55 seconds as his previous best of 51.59 was from the 2021 Summer Championships West in July. He also swam to a huge short course yards best time in the 200 butterfly as he swam a time of 1:52.42. His previous best was a 2:01.18 all the way back from March 2018. 

Anders Aistars (Unattached), who recently flipped his commitment from USC to Harvard, was just off of his 50 freestyle best time of 20.71 SCY in prelims as he swam a time of 20.87 SCY to be the top seed headed into finals. Aistars earned the victory in finals as he swam to a long course best time of 24.11 in finals. 

Humberto Najera (Unattached) earned a victory in the 100 backstroke with a LCM finals time of 58.29. That time was just off his best of 58.02 set at 2021 Futures in Santa Clarita. In prelims, he swam to a time of 49.67 SCY which was much faster than his previous best time of 52.49. 

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1 year ago

Claire Weinstein is on the rise 👀 All 3 of the girls 400 times stood out the most to me

Reply to  Noah
1 year ago

Grimes’ 1:53.3 200 back is pretty dang elite for a teenage distance specialist too

1 year ago

Wow Claire Weinstein’s 1:58.5 she could be the missing link for the 800 free relay next summer if McLaughlin and madden are still at thier prime

Reply to  Swimfan
1 year ago

I think Madden will be on, McLaughlin is a little more inconsistent so one or 2 of the teens could take that spot.

1 year ago

So if Weinstein was first in 1:58.5 and Sims was third in 1:59.2, who was second? That seems like a significant time to report.

Reply to  Aquajosh
1 year ago


1 year ago

Holy smokes 👀

About Anya Pelshaw

Anya Pelshaw

Anya has been with SwimSwam since June 2021 as both a writer and social media coordinator. She was in attendance at the 2022 Women's NCAA Championships writing and doing social media for SwimSwam. Currently, Anya is pursuing her B.A. in Government & Law and Economics at Lafayette College. There she is …

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