15-year-old Las Vegas swimmer qualifies for Olympics

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS/AP) — Three Las Vegas swimmers will represent Team USA at the Olympics next month.

Katie Grimes, 15, joined her fellow Sandpipers of Nevada teammates, Erica Sullivan and Bella Sims, in qualifying for the Olympics at Trials this past weekend.

One of America’s biggest swimming stars, Katie Ledecky, blew away the field in the 800 freestyle, winning by more than 5 seconds in a race where the battle for second provided the only drama.

Katie Grimes, the second and younger Katie, outraced veteran Haley Anderson for the second spot at the Olympics, knocking more than 11 seconds off her personal best to touch second in 8:20.36.

“Speechless,” said Grimes, who races for the Las Vegas swim club. “I wasn’t expecting that. I just wanted to finish it. I’m so honored to be in this meet, to be going to Tokyo.”

In an interesting twist, Grimes is the same age as Ledecky was when she won her first Olympic gold with a surprising victory in the 800 free at the 2012 London Olympics.

Katie Ledecky and Katie Grimes on the podium at the medal ceremony for the women’s 800 freestyle during wave 2 of the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials on Saturday, June 19, 2021, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

“To be able to be on the team with her,” Grimes said, “is gonna be awesome.”

“I told her after her mile yesterday, I said, ‘you’re the future.’ I told her after that she’s the now. I think Katie Squared is going to crush it in Tokyo,” said Katie Ledecky, Team USA.

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