Practice + Pancakes: Sandpipers Elite Group “Sprints” 7300 IM/Fly Workout

While I was in Las Vegas earlier this month, I had to go witness a practice with the Sandpipers of Nevada for myself. It did not disappoint.

First off, let’s break down this top group (specifically, who I had the pleasure of getting pancakes with after this practice)

  • Katie Grimes – 2020 Olympian, 2022 World Champs silver medalist (400 IM, 1500 Free), #1 Recruit in Class of 2024
  • Bella Sims – 2020 Olympian (silver in 800 free relay), 2022 World Champion (800 free relay), #1 Recruit in Class of 2023
  • Claire Weinstein – 2022 World Champion (800 Free Relay)
  • Ilya Kharun  – #3 Recruit in Class of 2023, Multiple time Jr national champion
  • Macky Hodges – NAG & National High School record holder, CIF Champion, ‘Best of the Rest’ in Class of 2023
  • Dillon Wright – Top 8 Finisher at 2022 Jr National OW 7.5k

This (plus a few others) is who was in the pool, all at one time, swimming this workout. I don’t think Sandpipers head coach Ron Aitken would agree, but according to the athletes, this 7,300-yard workout was their “sprint” practice for the week. The main set was:

3x (descend by round)

  • 50 fly @ :45
  • 100 fly-back @ 1:30
  • 150 fly-back-breast @2:15
  • 200 IM @ 3:00 
  • 3×100 fly @ 1:40 (descend by 100)

16×25 Variable Sprint 

  1. Easy/Fast
  2. Fast/Easy
  3. All Easy
  4. FAST

5×100 Back OTB FAST

My favorite part about this workout was the banter. You can tell that while these kids put in *serious* work, Ron fosters an environment where they can still be their goofy selves and have fun with swimming and each other during workouts. Example: between sets, you can hear the argument about the origin of baby carrots.

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Sherry Smit
2 months ago

With Macky Hodges now on the team, and Katie Grimes getting more sprint speed, could we see an 800 Free Relay consist of 4 sandpipers?? Plus’s Erin Gemmell and obviously KL?

Canadian swim nerd
2 months ago

Any updates about Ilya’s citizenship situation?

Reply to  Coleman Hodges
2 months ago


2 months ago

What is OTB?

Reply to  Dunno
2 months ago

Off the block

Last edited 2 months ago by Swimws
Reply to  Dunno
2 months ago

Off Track Betting. I had my money on Sims as fastest female on the 100’s Back.

Reply to  Dunno
2 months ago

Over the board (any chess players here?)

Sella Bims
Reply to  Dunno
2 months ago

If you watch Big Brother, on the block.

2 months ago

Did they bring in any new top level swimmers after summer? Hodges would be a new swimmer from California I assume. Just curious if anyone else was jumping on the bandwagon

Old Bruin
2 months ago

Boy i really hope they’re just happy to be there, because if some of you here in the comments are sick of reading about these Sandpipers, just imagine, it’s got to be REAL tiring for “a few others”

A Few Others, dont worry about it, you are also valued and not forgotten. We don’t know who you are, but that’s ok right we stan

2 months ago

Coleman, what were the 100s back on?

2 months ago

Am I the only one that just googled “baby carrots” ???

2 months ago

Ilya is such a chad lol

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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