Katie Grimes Drops A 4:36.77 400 IM Minutes After Setting Best Time In 200 Back

Yanyan Li
by Yanyan Li 7

June 03rd, 2022 National, News


16-year-old Katie Grimes is having one heck of a week.

Just a day removed from becoming the third-fastest U.S. girls’ 15-16 performer in the 400 free, Grimes went on to win the 200 back in a time of 2:09.52 at the 2022 TYR Pro Swim Series in Mission Viejo. That makes her the 11th fastest performer in the U.S. girls’ 15-16 age group, and is a near two-second drop from her previous lifetime best of 2:11.31 from U.S. International Team Trials this April. At trials, Grimes qualified for the finals of the 200 back by placing eighth in prelims, but scratched the event to focus on the 200 free.

All-Time Top Performers, Girl’s 200 Back (U.S. 15-16 Age Group Rankings):

  1. Missy Franklin – 2:05.10 (2011)
  2. Elizabeth Beisel – 2:06.39 (2009)
  3. Regan Smith – 2:06.43 (2018)
  4. Elizabeth Pelton – 2:07.48 (2010)
  5. Isabelle Stadden – 2:08.24 (2018)
  6. JoJ0 Ramey – 2:08.90 (2021)
  7. Janie Wagstaff – 2:09.09 (1991)
  8. Phoebe Bacon – 2:09.11 (2019)
  9. Alex Walsh – 2:09.36 (2018)
  10. Lucie Nordmann – 2:09.40 (2016)
  11. Katie Grimes – 2:09.52 (2022)

Did you think Grimes was done swimming lights out after that 200 back? Well, you thought wrong. Approximately 20 minutes later, she roared back to dominate the 400 IM, clocking a time of 4:36.77. That’s just 0.7 seconds removed from her best time of 4:36.17, which was fast enough to win at U.S. trials, rank fourth in the world, and push her to #3 all time in the U.S. girls 15-16 age group. In fact, Grimes’s time from today would have made her the #8 performer this year had she not gone faster at trials. You can compare her splits from today and at U.S. trials down below:

Katie Grimes 400 IM, U.S. Trials vs. Mission Viejo:

U.S. Trials Mission Viejo
Fly 1:01.96 1:01.36
Back 1:09.60 1:09.47
Breast 1:23.66 1:23.44
Free 1:00.95 1:02.50
Total 4:36.17 4:36.77

As you can tell from these splits, breaststroke is what held Grimes back in both of her races, something that she acknowledged in her post-race interview.

“I’m still trying to get working on the breaststroke leg a little bit more,” Grimes said. “[My] butterfly is starting to come around a little bit, I think the backstroke [has] been solid for a while now, but there’s definitely room for improvement there.”

Although Grimes is currently the best in the country in the 400 IM, she admitted that her favorite events are still the 800 and 1500 free.

“I’m still sticking with that distance freestyle for now [as my favorites], but I think it’s important to do [the 400 IM] while I’m young because it’s easier to do it when you have the energy.”

What made Grimes’s performance at this week’s Pro Swim Series even more impressive is that she’s just coming off the FINA Marathon Swim World Series in Portugal last week, where she finished eighth in the women’s 10k and got named onto Team USA’s World Championship squad for open water. Tomorrow, she’s set to swim the 800 free, despite the fact that it falls two days before that the American World Championship team heads to Croatia for a training camp.

At the 2022 FINA World Championships, Grimes will be swimming the 400 IM and 1500 free.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 months ago

I’m assuming she isn’t really rested? My goodness what a fast time!

Last edited 3 months ago by Peaty55Paris
3 months ago

“it’s easier to do it when you have the energy”

ain’t that the truth

3 months ago

This girl has no rear view mirrors. Her focus is 100% on what’s ahead. A lot like another Katie we know.

3 months ago

Grimes 200 BK, that’s the way to get the hand on the wall.

3 months ago

4:33 perhaps by Worlds? Especially if she can produce a similar last 100 and get the breaststroke a little better as well

3 months ago

I remember Janie Wagstaff. 2:09.0 at 16 in 1991 is pretty, pretty good.

Reply to  MarkB
3 months ago

’91 must have been quite the year for 16 year old backstrokers!

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 …

Read More »