Olympic Trials Qualifier Sawyer Grimes of SAND Verbally Commits to Minnesota

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Las Vegas-native Sawyer Grimes has announced his intention to swim for the University of Minnesota next fall. The class of 2024 is coming together nicely so far, with verbal commitments from Antonio Octaviano, Brock Aune, Cameron Linder, Casey Stowe, Chris Nagy, Kaiser Neverman, Leo Goldblatt, Nathan Kim, and William Christenson in addition to Grimes.

Grimes swims at Sandpipers of Nevada under coach Ron Aitken, who had this to say about his protégé:

“Sawyer is an extremely hard worker. His hard work has brought him some really good results. He wasn’t at the top of the team or training group and had to work his way thought the program. Sometimes he would be held back longer than other swimmers on the team as he was late bloomer, but eventually didn’t let that stop him as he has been soaring to the top lately. Early signing is stressful but Sawyer took it in stride as he was patient with the process and made the best of it. He found himself feeling behind and pressured to make a choice because of the early signing, but he found a good fit and he is excited about Minnesota.”

Unlike his older brother Carter Grimes, an IMer who will be a senior at Mizzou when Sawyer suits up for the Golden Gophers next year, Sawyer specializes in distance freestyle and is an Olympic Trials qualifier in the 400/800/1500m free. Grimes first punched his ticket to Omaha this summer at the 2019 TYR Pro Series #5 at Clovis. There, he book-ended the meet with a 6.9-second drop in the 800 free on Day 1 to finish 4th with 8:11.88 (Trials cut = 8:12.99), and an 8.1-second drop in the 1500 on Day 4 to place 3rd with 15:38.38 (Trials cut = 15:44.89). Later in the summer he added the 400 free when he crashed through the 4:00 barrier to win the event at NCSA Summer Championship with 3:56.16 (Trials cut = 3:57.29). At NCSAs he also competed in the 1500 free (runner-up), 100 back, 200 back (4th), 200 fly (11th), and 400 IM (4th) and improved his PBs in the 400 free, 1500 free (15:35.23), 100 back (59.28), 200 back (2:04.21), 100 fly (58.38), and 400 IM (4:30.58).

In SCY, Grimes competes for Centennial High School where he has just begun his senior year. At the 2019 Nevada 3A/4A State Championships last spring, he won the 500 free (4:32.19, altitude-adjusted to 4:27.19) and was runner-up in the 100 back (51.98, altitude-adjusted to 51.88). His best times in the 200/1000/1650 free come from the King Marlin Pro-Am Classic in December 2018.

It took 4:24.77 to get a second swim in the 500 free 15:26.17 to score in the 1650 at 2019 B1G Men’s Championships so Grimes should already have his foot in the door when he gets to Minneapolis. He’ll find a nice training partner in San Diego’s Chris Nagy who announced his commitment yesterday.

“I am beyond thrilled to announce my verbal commitment to continue swim and study at the University of Minnesota!! I knew from the moment I met the team that I was born to be a GOLDEN GOPHER!!”

Top SCY times:

  • 1650 free – 15:22.77
  • 1000 free – 9:10.65
  • 500 free – 4:28.39

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3 years ago

I remember Sawyer’s 1500 from Clovis: Ski-U-Mah!

3 years ago


3 years ago

Minnesota also just received a verbal from South African James Freeman, another distance swimmer.

3 years ago

The Kostoff Effect is only just beginning… Congrats to Sawyer!

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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