Olympians Bella Sims and Katie Grimes Go Best Times to Start Yards Season

by Michael Hamann 4

September 30th, 2021 Club, News, Previews & Recaps

BCH vs. SAND Dual 

  • September 24-25, 2021
  • Henderson, NV
  • Short Course Yards
  • Results here or on Meet Mobile, titled 2021 CA BCH vs SAND SC Dual

Nevada’s two strongest clubs, the Sandpipers of Nevada (SAND) and Boulder City Henderson (BCH) competed in a two-day, short course dual meet this past weekend in Henderson, NV. There was plenty of early-season speed on display, especially by the Sandpipers’ Team USA Olympian duo of Bella Sims and Katie Grimes.

The 16-year-old silver medalist Sims, who qualified for her first Olympic team as a member of the 4×200 Free Relay, demonstrated her versatility in her three events of the meet. She swam to a lifetime best by nearly a full second in the 100 back with a 53.85, and then followed up with a near-lifetime best in the 200 fly with a 1:55.06. In her final swim, Sims finished her session with a strong 1:57.46 in the 200 back. Notably, Sims’ 200 fly would have qualified for the B final at last year’s women’s NCAA Championship meet, in spite of her only starting her junior year of high school.

Not to be outdone, the 15-year-old Olympian Grimes swam three lifetime bests by posting a 1:48.39 in the 200 free, a 23.94 in the 50 free and a 1:54.91 in the 200 back. Grimes also swam the 400 IM, posting a very impressive early-season swim of 4:08.65. Despite being a nearly 2 second gain, Grimes’ 400 IM would have earned her a spot in the B final at the 2021 NCAA Championships.

Both Sims and Grimes have clearly picked up where they left off after a strong summer resulted in both high schoolers qualifying for their first U.S. Olympic team. Sims led off the prelim 4×200 free relay in a 1:58.59 in Tokyo after finishing 5th in the 200 free at the Olympic Trials, while Grimes finished fourth in the 800 free in 8:19.38.

The Sandpipers’ Paige Kuwata, a current high school senior and a Louisville class of 2026 commit, also competed and dropped nearly 2 seconds in the 200 breast to touch in 2:27.33. Kuwata, known primarily as a distance freestyler, also posted a 2:06.37 in the 200 IM and a 4:24.87 in the 400 IM. 

On the boys’ side, Ilya Kharun had a massive meet for the Sandpipers, posting lifetime events in all four of his events. His most notable swim came in the 100 fly, where he dropped nearly a full second from April to finish in 47.96. Kharun also posted a 20.74 in the 50 free, breaking the 21 second barrier for the first time, dropped over 4 seconds in the 100 back, touching in 50.16, and had a massive 8 second drop in the 100 breast to finish in 57.08.

For BCH, current high school senior, and publicly uncommitted, Daniel Nikoloff posted a 51.80 in the 100 back, a 1:54.94 in the 200 fly and a 51.24 in the 100 fly. While none of Nikoloff’s swims were lifetime bests, all three of his swims were faster than his early-season swims a year ago. For comparison, Nikoloff’s first swims of the 2020-21 season in these events were 54.52 in the 100 back in November, and 1:56.31 in the 200 fly and 52.03 in the 100 fly, both of which came in December.

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2 months ago

We need a swimswam podcast with both of these young women separately! (Bella Sims and Katie Grimes)

Ledecky will go under 8 minutes in the 800
Reply to  TeamRegan
2 months ago

Why the downvotes?

2 months ago

Is Ilya still an unranked recruit?

2 months ago

Wish more swimming competitions were televised