Ultra Swim Swimmer of the Month is a recurring SwimSwam feature shedding light on a U.S.-based swimmer who has proven themselves over the past month. As with any item of recognition, Swimmer of the Month is a subjective exercise meant to highlight one athlete whose work holds noteworthy context – perhaps a swimmer who was visibly outperforming other swimmers over the month, or one whose accomplishments slipped through the cracks among other high-profile swims. If your favorite athlete wasn’t selected, feel free to respectfully recognize them in our comment section.
Katie Grimes put her versatility on full display in April, delivering some exceptional performances both in the pool and open water to earn her Ultra Swimmer of the Month honors.
Grimes and her Sandpipers of Nevada teammates opted not to compete at the marquee event of the month in the U.S., the Pro Swim Series stop in Westmont, Ill., but instead stayed much closer to home and raced at the Fran Crippen Swim Meet of Champions in Mission Viejo, Calif.
The 17-year-old took on her customary busy event schedule, racing 12 times over four days, and managed to deliver some monster performances, highlighted by her effort in the women’s 400 IM.
The 2022 World Championship silver medalist in the event, Grimes rocketed to a time of 4:31.81 to lower her previous best set in Budapest (4:32.67) and come within .03 of the U.S. 17-18 National Age Group Record of 4:31.78 set by Elizabeth Beisel. That comes with Grimes having only aged up into the 17-18 category in January.
Grimes also set new personal best times in the 200 free (1:57.85), 200 fly (2:08.77) and 200 breast (2:43.52), and added a season-best time in the 800 free (8:26.22) and picked up a victory in the 1500 free (16:04.92).
Just a few days later, Grimes became the first swimmer to officially book her ticket on the 2023 U.S. World Championship team by winning the women’s 10km event at Open Water Nationals, pulling away from the field late to touch the pad first by 15 seconds.
She won the 5km national title two days later.
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