Katie Ledecky to 15 Year-Old Katie Grimes: “You’re The Now”

2021 U.S. OLYMPIC SWIMMING TRIALS

It was no surprise when Katie Ledecky won the women’s 800 free Saturday night. It was much more of a surprise when 15 year-old Katie Grimes touched 2nd, bringing back memories of Ledecky’s own rise to prominence on the world stage when she first made the Olympic team in this event at age of 15.

During the post-race press conference, when Katie Grimes was asked how overwhelming the previous 60 minutes or so had been, Grimes simply replied, “very,” and then eventually went on to explain how supportive Ledecky was been in helping her through the ceremonies that followed making the team in the event.

Katie Ledecky described how she told Grimes “you’re the future,” after Grimes got 3rd in the 1500 earlier in the week, but after Grimes qualified for Tokyo by touching 2nd in the 800 tonight, Ledecky told her “you’re the now.”

Ledecky also discussed how she and Simone Manuel made an “informal pact” to stick together and how that bond made it particularly tough to watch what Manuel struggle with training after being diagnosed with overtraining syndrome earlier this year.

Originally reported by James Sutherland 

WOMEN’S 800 FREE FINAL

  1. Katie Ledecky (NCAP), 8:14.62
  2. Katie Grimes (SAND), 8:20.36
  3. Haley Anderson (MVN), 8:20.51

It was a tale of two races in the women’s 800 free: Katie Ledecky versus the clock, and then the rest of the field battling for second.

Ledecky asserted herself early, taking off from the gun and running away with her fourth victory of the week in a time of 8:14.62, just under a second off her season-best of 8:13.64 set in March. The time for Ledecky, 24, falls just shy of the top-25 swims in history.

In an exciting race for the second spot, Bella SimsErica Sullivan and Haley Anderson all held the position at one point over the first 400 meters. Thing slowly began to separate, on the back-half, with 15-year-old Katie Grimes gradually moving through the field, turning third behind Ledecky and Anderson at the 700.

Grimes, swimming way out in Lane 8, was just a tenth back of Anderson with 50 to go, and made a huge charge down the last length, ultimately touching second in a time of 8:20.36 to Anderson’s 8:20.51. Anderson is almost double Grimes’ age (29 to 15).

Grimes becomes the third Sandpipers of Nevada female swimmer to qualify for the team this week, joining Sims (800 free relay) and Sullivan (1500 free). Grimes also smashed her previous best of 8:31.73 set in the prelims, and now ranks third all-time among 15-16s, trailing only Ledecky and Janet Evans.

Ally McHugh was sixth at the 500 but moved her way up to fourth at the end, edging out Sims (8:23.55) in 8:23.51. Sims, 16, lowers her best time down from 8:27.01 and is now ranks fourth among 15-16s.

Sullivan fell down to sixth in 8:24.02, but still chopped two seconds off her lifetime best.

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Phelps Phan
1 year ago

Michael (2 of them), Ryan, and Katie (at least 3 of them), the namesakes will see in swimming.

Michael Andrew
Michael Brinegar
Ryan Murphy
Katie Ledecky
Katie Grimes
Katie McLaughlin

Not to mention there are two Simones in the US Olympic team – Simone Biles (gymnastics) and Simone Manuel (swimming).

Last edited 1 year ago by Phelps Phan
SwimmerNotSwammer
1 year ago

I wanna see who had katie on their pick ’em

Tomek
1 year ago

I hope Ledecky will have successful Tokyo games and then retire after the games on top. She has nothing else to proof to the world and her dominance over long distance will not last forever. But then again I have no idea how much competitive fire she still has

Dave
Reply to  Tomek
1 year ago

I think Katie L will add the 400IM, she did have the American Record, just before her teammate Ella Eastin set her record. There are only Three years till the next Olympics, I’m confident that KL will continue to be #1, at least in my book!

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  Dave
1 year ago

Katie Ledecky is more likely to focus on the W 400 FR, W 800 FR, W 1500 FR yet scale back the W 200 FR due to the schedule. However, Katie Ledecky will still swim the women’s 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay.

Jeah4Life
1 year ago

Can we take a moment to recognize what an absolutely incredible person and sportswoman Ledecky is? We talk about her swimming greatness which is, of course, incredibly warranted but what a teammate! The joy on her face seeing Grimes finishing second, her selflessness (barely celebrated her own win) to go swim to Grimes’ lane and congratulate her and hold up her hand for the crowd, to helping her through her first news conference… I’m sure this will continue as she supports her through training camp and in Tokyo. These young teenagers on this team are so lucky to have a role model like her- so gracious and helpful- despite that she wasn’t have her best meet… I was really moved.… Read more »

Kwb37
Reply to  Jeah4Life
1 year ago

I can think of no one else who has handled the mantle of excellence with such class and dignity

Swammer
Reply to  Jeah4Life
1 year ago

I agree 100 percent. When the reporter broke it to Grimes that her mom and dad won’t be able to watch Ledecky stepped in to say she will create a family of support. Awesome awesome.

Same Same
Reply to  Jeah4Life
1 year ago

Very well said. To heap praise on someone else (even though she just had her own amazing achievement) just sums up what a great person she is – so genuine and wonderful sportsmanship.

nickp
1 year ago

Katie Grimes is going to do incredible things!

Oceanian
1 year ago

Even though this is the first women’s 1500 free on the Olympic stage, I wonder if the ‘aging’ Katie will cut back to 800/400/200 over the next years leading into Paris. Can’t see her dropping just to 200/400, but if Grimes does step up again (along with Titmus maintaining 800 form) who knows?

Ragnar
Reply to  Oceanian
1 year ago

Quite the opposite, if anything Katie would drop the 200 and possibly 400, her skill set and the strength of the field would make the 800/1500 her strongest events. But let’s wait until the 400 at the games, and maybe the 400 at the 2022 Worlds(real training cycle), before we start removing events from her 2024 lineup. She could go a 3:58 and lose handily to Titmus, or she could go a 3:55 and set a WR, trials are only trials. Either way, the 800/1500 will remain longer, the world has a bigger gap in those events to close than they do in the 400 and 200, where there’s never really been a on paper gap

ArtVanDeLegh10
Reply to  Ragnar
1 year ago

What do you think is more likely for Ledecky at the Olympics – 3:55 and break the WR or 3:58 and get beaten by Titmus? I’d say 3:58. When was the last time she had a great taper meet at a big meet? Probably 2016. Since then I can’t think of any.

Blackflag82
Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
1 year ago

I think 358 for KL is more likely. But I also think a 358 for Titmus in the finals is more likely as well…this idea that Titmus wasn’t tapered or is going to drop time at a bigger meet (nerves) without clean water is unlikely imo. Who gets there hand on the wall first in that race though is a harder call to make

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  Oceanian
1 year ago

Katie Ledecky has not won the women’s 200 meter freestyle at a major international tournament since the 2016 Summer Olympics. I would say it is more likely that Katie Ledecky drops the women’s 200 meter freestyle from her individual program.

SwimShark
Reply to  Oceanian
1 year ago

Most swimmers tend to drop down to shorter distances as they age as endurance swimming seems like a young person’s sport. But then it’s hard to say with Ledecky because she’s so unique and we haven’t seen an equal competitor emerge on the long-distance side. It’s also possible people drop out of the scene entirely due to injuries, age catching up, etc. with swimming being a fickle sport.

Really appreciate Ledecky’s accomplishments and sportsmanship. Simply enjoy having her while she’s around.

Go, Summer, go!
Reply to  SwimShark
1 year ago

You didn’t see an equal competitor emerge on the long-distance side? Just look a bit up North, at Canada. Summer will bring this dominance down, God save her from injuries

Awsi Dooger
1 year ago

That was my biggest rooting interest of the night. It is so important to establish female distance swimmers in their mid teens. Grimes barely snuck into that 800 final, largely due to Leah Smith underperforming. I sweated that out, since Grimes’ late surge in the 1500 made it open she belonged on this team. Normally I stay away from the Rowdy Gaines knocking but his calls during this meet have been borderline ridiculous. Does he need his eyes checked? Every time he touts someone charging from an outside lane they are doing nothing. Tonight with barely above 50 meters remaining he declared that Beisel was correct, that Haley Anderson was surging toward a second Olympic spot and had opened up… Read more »

He said what?
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
1 year ago

I had the exact same thought when they turned together at the last wall. I was confused. Body length???? They just turned together!!!

SwimShark
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
1 year ago

It’s really sad how Rowdy and his commentaries have become a distraction from the actual swimming. Why they bring him back every year is mind-boggling.

Bobo Gigi
1 year ago

Amazing.
The 3 girls of Sandpipers have made the team.
One in the 4X200 free relay.
Another one in the 1500 free
And the last one in the 800 free.
Hopefully their LCM progression will not be stopped in college.
I would prefer they turn pro and keep training in Nevada where it works perfectly for them.
I have the same concerns about Torri Huske or Regan Smith going to Stanford.
But I know college swimming is a religion in USA. And it’s criminal to even just bring facts that only show that college swimming is not working for everyone.
Take just Cal and Stanford women’s swimming for example in the… Read more »

cynthia curran
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 year ago

Well, in Europe you have a different attitude toward the trades. So, someone working out on a club team and works on Volkswagen cars as a machinist is not looked down upon as much as they would to in the US. Two, I think Dagny Knutsen, Katie Hoff, and Kate Ziegler were the only three that chose a club over a college swimming program. Probably in Knutsen case, college would have been better. Hoff almost made it back but got a blood clot. Ziegler didn’t improved. Both Hoff and Ziegler were training at the Fullerton regional group at one time and going to school at Chapman. Chapman is a private school and its not cheap.

PVSFree
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 year ago

I know some swimmers just use the sport as a stepping stone to get into these elite universities like Stanford. Once they’re there, they just focus on academics. Of course, that’s not the case with all the swimmers you listed, but that has to explain one or two.

A few may also just fall out of love with the sport. They might want to explore other things life has to offer.

DCC Parent
Reply to  PVSFree
1 year ago

A few may also just fall out of love with the sport. They might want to explore other things life has to offer.”

This^^^ Going to college is about much more than just swimming. While that transition can equate to challenges in the pool, the preparation for life beyond swimming can be invaluable for many.

Blackflag82
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 year ago

Cost off college at those two schools and after college earning as a result of degrees at those two universities is likely higher than anything they’d secure by going pro in the US…

Fly 100
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 year ago

Sandpiper is the new Mission Viejo…. Congratulations and continued success to this model club on an outstanding trials. Hopefully ASCA will have a presentation of their template at the clinic.

Coach
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 year ago

Places like Virginia, Georgia, Florida, and Michigan seem to be doing a great job of keeping kids on a positive trajectory in the LCM pool.

Brianna
Reply to  Coach
1 year ago

What about Texas women? Seems like they get talent and then it stalls. Maybe lots of overtraining.

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 year ago

I’m not buying it one bit. Until the USA adjusts to a sense of normalcy due to the pandemic, no one surely knows the future of the aforementioned swimmers. Furthermore, the general public does not know in each instance how long each individual was out of the pool due to the pandemic.

Eric the eel > Phelps
Reply to  Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
1 year ago

Out of topic but you should change your username thought , Manuel is out for the relay

SwimShark
Reply to  Eric the eel > Phelps
1 year ago

Not so far cowboy. If Manuel makes the team on the 50 free and is swimming on fire come Tokyo, she could yet still be placed on the 4×100 medley relay. Remember Schmitt at 2012 London.

Crimson chin
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 year ago

Katie grimes=GOAT

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