Katie Grimes Sees a Lot of Room for Improvement in Her 400 IM


Reported by Anne Lepesant.


  • World Record: 4:26.36 – Katinka Hosszu (2016)
  • American Record: 4:31.12 – Katie Hoff (2008)
  • US Open Record: 4:31.07 – Katinka Hosszu (2015)
  • Jr World Record: 4:38.53 – Alba Vazquez (2019)
  • FINA “A” Cut: 4:43.06
  • SwimSwam Preview – W400 IM


  1. Katie Grimes, Sandpipers of Nevada – 4:36.17
  2. Emma Weyant, Unattached – 4:37.72
  3. Hali Flickinger, Sun Devils – 4:39.50
  4. Leah Hayes, Fox Valley – 4:40.70
  5. Mackenzie Looze, Indiana University – 4:44.95
  6. Julia Podkoscielny, Pine Crest – 4:47.57
  7. Justina Kozan, The Swim Team – 4:48.04
  8. Alexis Yager, Tennessee – 4:50.63

Katie Grimes from Sandpipers of Nevada dropped more than 5 seconds from her seeding with a winning time of 4:36.17 in the championship final of the 400 IM. Grimes posted the third-fastest time in the world so far this season, behind only Canada’s Summer McIntosh (4:29.12) and Australia’s Kaylee McKeown (4:34.96).

Leah Hayes led at the first wall, followed by Hali Flickinger and Grimes. Grimes took over the lead at the 100 and held on through the first 50 of the breaststroke. Flickinger moved past Hayes and was about nine-tenths behind Grimes after the backstroke.

The breaststroke saw big moves from Hayes and Emma Weyant, who turned 1-2 into the freestyle, with Grimes in third place.

But Grimes, who placed fourth in the 800 free at the 2020 Olympic Games and won U.S. Open Water Nationals earlier this month, turned on the jets over the final 100 meters, powering home in 1:00.9 to win by 1.6 seconds ahead of Weyant.

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3 months ago

She is really inspiration for all the girls of her age.

Pacific Whirl
3 months ago

When did those comments start to point out ways for her? She can focus on any events she want.

Awsi Dooger
3 months ago

Grimes really gutted out the final 50 of breaststroke. Going out I thought she would submerge. It’s impressive that she is not satisfied with 4:36. This is a drastically underachieving event. I doubt the current level will be tolerated much longer, nor in the 200. IMO, Grimes’ priority races going forward should be the 200 and 400 medleys then pick one among the 800 and 1500…based on how the schedule falls in relation to those individual medleys.

Reply to  Awsi Dooger
3 months ago

If she goes this way it will make me very disappointed. 8:17 in 800FR shown by 15 years old girl is significantly higher achievement and brought much more exciting expectations than 4:36 in 400IM swum by her a year later.
Her splits in medley race show that she has acceptable backstroke and great freestyle legs. Below average butterfly and terrible breast legs. Where does she see improvement is coming from? Butterfly? Or we are going to see another Kate Douglass?

Last edited 3 months ago by Yozhik
3 months ago

Love this girl!

3 months ago

Besides ye Shiwen has anyone ever closed the free in in 61 sec?

Reply to  Swimfan
3 months ago

Ledecky must have gone 59/60, and Filippi (former 1500 world champ) went 60. on the back of a 400im once too.

Last edited 3 months ago by Dee
Pacific Whirl
Reply to  Swimfan
3 months ago

Ledecky closed in 59.42.

Last edited 3 months ago by Pacific Whirl
Reply to  Pacific Whirl
3 months ago

Amazing! But Shiwen closed in 58.68 after going over 10 seconds faster on first 300. Incredible closing speed.

There's no doubt that he's tightening up
Reply to  Canuswim
3 months ago

Yeah Ye was actually pretty fast over the first 300 lol, whilst still conserving energy. She was I think about a second off Biesel, who has a phenomenal back/breast and went 4:31.


Yes! Love everything about Biesel! Incredible versatile swimmer throughout her career and still a great ambassador of the sport.

Pacific Whirl
Reply to  Swimfan
3 months ago

Justina Kozan closed in 60.80 in April 2021.

Pacific Whirl
Reply to  Pacific Whirl
3 months ago

It blew my mind that Kozan swam it all by herself with a 29.06 last 50 while Ye drifted Beisel’s/

Reply to  Swimfan
3 months ago

For the 400 IM? Summer closed in 1:01.18 when she went 4:29 recently.

3 months ago

So 400IM and 1500FR.
4:36.17 and 15:51.36
Both times are good quality times but still may not enough for medals.
Where are her chances for the podium higher?
Is it possible to succeed in both IM and long distance events in the same meet? 16 years old Janet Evans did so in Seoul winning Olympic gold medals:
400IM -4:37.76
800FR – 8:20.20
Looks very similar to Grimes’ times. But Janet’s story is 34 years old. Something has changed since then.
In both events to be a contender Katie Grimes needs a good deal of improvement in personal bests but in her interview she sounded like she sooner finds it in 400IM rather than in 1500FR.

Last edited 3 months ago by Yozhik
Reply to  Yozhik
3 months ago

Belmonte 4 years ago won 2 silvers in Budapest
400IM: 4:32

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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