Katie Grimes Eyes American Document in Girls’s 400 IM

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2023 U.S. Nationwide Championships

Girls’s 400 IM – By The Numbers:

17-year-old Katie Grimes is the defending World Championship silver medalist within the 400 IM and is the favourite to win on the U.S. Trials. She has been on fireplace this season, blasting a lifetime finest time of 4:31.81 on the Fran Crippen Swim Meet of Champions in April. This beat her 2022 World Championships time by almost one second.

That swim put the Sandpipers of Nevada swimmer inside .70 of the oldest ladies’s American file left on the board in any course, set by Katie Hoff again on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Grimes, a 2021 Tokyo Olympian who positioned fourth within the 800 free, simply dropped her quickest 800 free since Tokyo in late Might, so we all know she’s on type. The space specialist could have a busy occasion lineup at Trials, trying to place properly within the 800 free and 1500 free, in addition to the 400 IM.

Heading into Trials, the 400 IM is likely one of the best fields on the ladies’s aspect proper now. A rematch is brewing between Grimes, 2021 Olympic silver medalist Emma Weyant, 2021 Olympic bronze medalist Hali Flickinger, and 17-year-old phenom Leah Hayes. Final 12 months, Flickinger positioned third at Trials with a time that may have nonetheless made the ultimate at Worlds.

Emma Weyant (photograph: Jack Spitser)

Grimes and Weyant went 1-2 on this occasion final 12 months, occurring to win silver and bronze, respectively, in Budapest. Weyant is a powerful selection to position second once more. She notched a 4:39.32 season-best time in Might and is coming off a productive collegiate season with Florida. She positioned third within the 400 IM on the 2023 NCAA DI Championships after profitable the occasion at SECs with a finest time.

Flickinger is more durable to foretell as a result of she hasn’t swum the 400 IM but this season. However one factor’s for positive, she and Weyant could have a quick race. A few of Flickinger’s quickest 400 IMs have been with Weyant by her aspect. Her lifetime finest continues to be a 4:33.96 she swam on the 2021 Olympic Trials to narrowly place second behind Weyant. Flickinger had related success at Worlds, incomes bronze inside two seconds of Weyant.

There’s one identify who may disrupt that trio, although, and that’s 17-year-old Leah Hayes. Hayes was named the 2022 SwimSwam World Championships Breakout Swimmer of the Yr after breaking the 200 IM world junior file to win bronze. She has had a killer 12 months, lately logging a lifetime-best 400 IM time of 4:39.58 on the Westmont Professional Swim Sequence in April.

Leah Hayes (photograph: Jack Spitser)

Hayes’ dash IM has been robust as properly; she’s the third-fastest American within the 200 IM to this point this season. She’s ranked fourth within the 400 IM this season, the identical place she earned on the 2022 U.S. Trials behind Flickinger. However, Hayes is quicker this season. She had by no means damaged 4:40.00 by this time final 12 months.

Aside from Flickinger, all three swimmers have been below the World Aquatics ‘A’ minimize of 4:43.06 this season. That makes their job easy: end within the prime two to earn the honors of going up in opposition to world file holder Summer season McIntosh in Fukuoka.

Extra Younger Blood Inside Hanging Distance

Kayla Han (photograph: Jack Spitser)

Kayla Han of La Mirada Armada can be below the World Aquatics ‘A’ minimize, having swum a finest time of 4:42.96 on the Mission Viejo Professional Swim Sequence final month.

The recently-turned 15-year-old gained the ‘B’ closing final 12 months, however had she been within the ‘A’ warmth, her time would have positioned her fifth. Han’s butterfly is particularly harmful and she or he has sufficient endurance to maintain up — and possibly even outlast — a few of the extra seasoned swimmers.

USC’s Justina Kozan has been comparatively quiet this season, proudly owning a season-best of 4:47.25 from Might. However, she could have extra within the tank come Trials.

Her finest time stands at 4:40.57 from the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials which might have earned her fourth place in final 12 months’s Trials ‘A’ closing.

Kozan is coming off a powerful freshman season with USC. She positioned fourth within the 400 IM and 200 IM on the 2023 Pac-12 Championships. Kozan was an ‘A’ finalist on this occasion final 12 months, finally putting seventh.

Preserve a watch out for Bella Sims of the Sandpipers of Nevada. She’s ranked eighth within the nation this season after blasting a 4:43.82 on the SMOC in April. This isn’t a ordinary occasion for Sims, although. She didn’t race this occasion final 12 months at Trials and she or he hasn’t raced it since April.

Final 12 months, Sims targeted on each freestyle occasion, 200 and up, and the 200 IM — finally qualifying for Worlds within the 200 free — however, if she chooses to swim the 400 IM in Indianapolis, she has a powerful likelihood to make the ‘A’ closing. This brings us to our subsequent part:

Will They, Gained’t They?

Defending 200 IM world champion Alex Walsh may make the 400 IM closing very fascinating if she desires to. She holds a finest time of 4:42.14 from 2020 and has been constant since then, clocking a 4:42.15 this season to crack the ‘A’ minimize. It’s unlikely she’ll swim the 400 IM at Trials, although, as there are no less than 5 swimmers with finest occasions sooner than hers. Final 12 months, she selected to deal with her bread-and-butter occasion, the 200 IM, in addition to the 100 breast.

Virginia’s Ella Nelson could be the almost definitely on this class to swim it. She owns a finest time of 4:43.84 from final 12 months’s Summer season Nationals the place she positioned fifth. She scratched this occasion finally 12 months’s Trials although, as an alternative specializing in the 200 breast and 200 IM. She’ll be ranked a lot larger this time round although after dropping a season-best time of 4:45.16. Final 12 months, she went in ranked nineteenth. She beat Weyant on the 2023 NCAA DI Championships to position second.

There’s additionally Ohio State’s Felicia Pasadyn who gained the 400 IM at Large Tens and owns a finest time of 4:42.79. She didn’t compete at Trials final 12 months, and she or he hasn’t raced a 400 IM lengthy course but this season, so it appears unlikely that she’ll be within the combine. However, she positioned third at 2022 Summer season Nationals and would have a shot on the ‘A’ closing.

The principle motive that distance specialist Leah Smith would possibly take into account swimming the 400 IM at Trials is that she carried out properly within the 400 IM on the Brief Course World championships in December. The 2016 Olympian positioned fourth whereas clocking two finest occasions throughout prelims and finals. She’s ranked seventh within the nation this season in lengthy course. However her occasion lineup final 12 months at Worlds was the 200/400/800 free and she is going to almost definitely deal with these.

Distance star Katie Ledecky is the second-fastest American within the 400 IM to this point this season. She blasted a 4:36.04, proper on her finest time of 4:35.77 from 2022 Summer season Nationals, on the Fort Lauderdale Professional Swim Sequence.

Lindsay Looney is one other 2022 Summer season Nationals ‘A’ finalist who will almost definitely not race the 400 IM at Trials. Firstly, she’s steered away from the 400 IM all of this collegiate season at ASU. She additionally has a a lot stronger shot at making the staff within the 200 fly the place she’s ranked seventh within the nation to this point this season. She selected to deal with that occasion final 12 months and can probably do the identical this 12 months.

Better of the Relaxation

Mackenzie Looze, recent out of her fifth 12 months at Indiana College, was an ‘A’ finalist finally 12 months’s Trials on this occasion. She finally positioned fifth with a 4:44.95, a few seconds off her finest time from 2019. If she’s capable of get nearer to her finest time this 12 months, she may have a shot at breaking the highest 5 once more.

This collegiate season was nearly equal, however barely slower than final season for Looze within the 400 IM. She positioned eighth on the 2023 Large Ten Championships, two locations decrease than final 12 months however inside a second of her 2022 time. Whereas she hasn’t swum the 400 IM in lengthy course but this season, her collegiate outcomes venture that she’s positively nonetheless in hanging vary of the Trials ‘A’ closing.

Avery Klamfoth of SwimMAC Carolina positioned second within the ‘B’ closing finally 12 months’s Trials. She has since lowered her finest time to a 4:45.72 which positioned her third on the 2022 Junior Nationals. She can be a critical ‘A’ closing contender if she will be able to break 4:45.00, however to this point her finest time this season is a 4:49.57 from January.

Michaela Mattes of the Sarasota Sharks can be within the 4:45 territory, with a finest time of 4:45.78 from final August. And the category of 2023 Florida commit she’s been comparatively constant since then, holding a season-best time of 4:46.98.

Tennessee’s Alexis Yager made it into the ‘A’ closing final 12 months in lane eight after which she maintained that rank. Her finest time, a 4:45.18 from the 2021 Olympic Trials, would have earned her sixth place although. Whereas she hasn’t matched that pace but this season, she’s gotten as shut as 4:49.97 from the Knoxville Professional Swim Sequence.

SwimSwam’s High 8 Picks:

Darkish Horse: Claire Weinstein She’s at the moment the No. 1-ranked highschool recruit of the category of 2025. Weinstein made the U.S. World Championships roster final 12 months within the 200 free and went on to take part of their gold-medal-winning 800 free relay. She has a shot at qualifying in these races once more, however she’s additionally turning into a powerful ‘A’ closing contender within the 400 IM. She posted a finest time of 4:48.06 on the Fort Lauderdale Professional Swim Sequence and is now ranked thirteenth within the nation this season. It will be tough for her to drop extra time so rapidly, and she or he’ll have already got the 200 free to deal with. However, the door is open for her to do one thing extremely quick.



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