Katie Grimes Breaks Elizabeth Beisel’s 15-16 NAG In 400 IM At World Championships


In the women’s 400 IM final at the 2022 FINA World Championships, 15-year-old Summer McIntosh made headlines by winning in a world junior record time of 4:32.04.  However, silver medalist Katie Grimes also broke a record of her own. The 16-year-old clocked a time of 4:32.67, taking down Elizabeth Beisel‘s 15-16 U.S. Girls’ National Age Group Record time of 4:32.87 from the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Girls’ 400 IM, U.S. 15-16 Age Group Rankings:

  1. Katie Grimes — 4:32.67 (2022)
  2. Elizabeth Beisel — 4:32.87 (2008)
  3. Katie Hoff — 4:36.07 (2005)
  4. Janet Evans — 4:38.58 (1988)
  5. Ella Eastin — 4:38.97 (2013)

Compared to Beisel, Grimes is much stronger on fly and free—especially on fly when she took out her race in almost under a minute. In fact, Grimes being nearly four seconds faster than Beisel in her butterfly leg was what gave her the edge to break this record. However, Beisel had a slight advantage over Grimes on backstroke and a significant advantage on breaststroke.

Splits Comparison, Katie Grimes vs. Elizabeth Beisel:

Katie Grimes, 2022 World Championships (current 15-16 NAG) Elizabeth Beisel, 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials (former 15-16 NAG)
Fly 1:00.22 1:04.11
Back 1:09.08 1:08.55
Breast 1:22.48 1:17.79
Free 1:00.09 1:02.42
Total 4:32.67 4:32.87

Beisel went on to become a 2011 World Champion and 2012 Olympic silver medalist in the 400 IM, and ended up lowering her best time to 4:31.27. If Grimes continues to improve, she could be on a similar, or even better trajectory than Beisel. As the Sandpipers of Nevada swimmer does not turn 17 until January 8, 2023, she will have over half a year to drop more time and reset this NAG.

Grimes was previously ranked #3 in the 15-16 U.S. girls’ rankings for the 400 IM with her time of 4:36.17 from the 2022 U.S. International Team Trials.

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There's no doubt that he's tightening up
4 months ago

Re that Biesel 2008 swim, this Maya Di Rado tweet thread is compulsory reading: https://twitter.com/MayaDiRado/status/1145345117684998150

Last edited 4 months ago by There's no doubt that he's tightening up

As far as I know, Beisel never told that story (2008 Olympic Team Trials).

4 months ago

Seems like less of a stroke-by-stroke advantage (except on free) and more a different strategic approach to the race. That opening 100 fly was awesome, though… she’d been swimming 200 back as a side event but wonder if she could do some real damage in a 2 fly.

4 months ago

Why do some breastrokers make their mouth look like Popeye?

Reply to  SECjuicer
4 months ago

Maybe muscle memory from doing Freestyle breaths

Tracy Kosinski
4 months ago

Yeah, I give her props for chasing down Summer, she’s something else. I assume she and McIntosh will have some fierce battles. Looking forward to them!

4 months ago

Beisel swam the 400 IM by cruising the fly and then building up her backstroke so she was in good position to go into the lead during the breaststroke. She saved plenty of energy for the freestyle. Beisel in her book said she was sure she was going to win gold in 2012 when had the lead going into the free, and was shocked when Shewin zoomed past her after 25 meters of the free.

Katie Grimes has so much endurance that she looks like she’s going hard the whole way.

4 months ago

Katie Grimes definitely needs to work on the breaststroke.

Jean Marie
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
4 months ago

Yes, she’ll be right there with Summer in this event. Also, Katie is just 7 months older than her.

Chlorine Cole
4 months ago

I dont think she can break Katie L’s records these swimmers are getting so fast

4 months ago

Grimes is swimming 10K OW tomorrow I don’t know if its realistic to expect her to medal but will be following to see.

About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Although Yanyan wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming through scoring countless dual meets, being a timer, and keeping track of her teammates' best times for three years as a team manager. She eventually ventured into the realm of writing and joined SwimSwam in …

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