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Grimes, Reymond fight through conditions to capture USA 10K titles

by ZwemZa on April 2nd, 2022

(USA Swimming)

On a windy Friday morning in Fort Myers Beach, Katie Grimes and Axel Reymond fought through the arduous waves to earn 10K titles at the 2022 Open Water National & Junior Championships.

Grimes’ title gives her the first senior-level open water national title of her young career. The Sandpipers of Nevada swimmer stuck with the lead pack from start-to-finish, resulting in a finish that was just more than a minute ahead of the field.

“I really had a good time out there today, the conditions were a little rough but I’m learning to get comfortable with being uncomfortable,” Grimes said. “I was swimming with a ton of girls so I was really happy with the outcome and I’m excited for the next race.

“The tide was really strong and the wind was making it really choppy, but like I said, it is just about being comfortable with being uncomfortable, learning to adjust your stroke and adapting each lap to the new challenges.”

Grimes was followed by Indiana University’s Mariah Denigan (time) and France’s Caroline Jouisse (time) to round out the top-3. The top-6 American finishers immediately qualify for the current U.S. Open Water National Team while also putting themselves in position to qualify for the 2022 FINA World Championships U.S. roster. The top-6 Americans from today’s race are:

• Grimes (Las Vegas, Nev./Sandpipers of Nevada)
• Mariah Denigan (Walton, Ky./Indiana University)
• Summer Smith (Agawam, Mass./Bluefish Swim Club)
• Anna Auld (West Palm Beach, Fla./University of Florida)
• Kensey McMahon (Jacksonville, Fla./University of Alabama)
• Brooke Travis (Newark, Del./NC State)

“This is everything that I’ve dreamed of,” Denigan said of potentially representing the U.S. on the international stage. “I just got back from a back injury, I was out of the water before Big 10’s, so I’m just so happy that I could build back up and get back here and get my hand on the wall second.”

The men’s event went to France’s Axel Reymond who narrowly edged out U.S. National Team member Brennan Gravley for the top spot. Dylan Gravley, Brennan’s younger brother, finished third to give him the best 10K finish of his Open Water National Championships career.

“I was trying to maintain my position and keep up with Brennan,” Dylan Gravley said. “I’m taking baby steps, it is another year and I was a few places upwards of where I was last year. I’m maintaining my spot (on the Open Water National Team) and that is all I can really ask for.”

“It’s one of my favorite parts of being a USA Swimming athlete,” Brennan added when asked about qualifying for the U.S. Open Water National Team. “I feel like we have a lot of privileges, especially as open water swimmers. It was a fun venue and it was fun to come out here—even with intense conditions—and I enjoyed it.”

The top-6 American male finishers are as follow:
• Brennan Gravley (Las Vegas, Nev./Sandpipers of Nevada/University of Florida)
• Dylan Gravley (Las Vegas, Nev./Sandpipers of Nevada/Arizona State University)
• Joey Tepper (Egg Harbor Township, N.J./University of Tennessee)
• Michael Brinegar (Columbus, Ind./Mission Viejo Nadadores/Indiana University)
• Simon Lamar (Sonora, Calif./Harvard University)
• David Heron (Mission Viejo, Calif./Mission Viejo Nadadores)

Official 10K results can be found here. Action continues tomorrow with the Junior 5K event beginning at 8 a.m. ET. The event will be streamed at www.usaswimming.org/watch.

For more information on the 2022 Open Water National & Junior Championships, visit https://www.usaswimming.org/event/2022/04/01/default-calendar/open-water-championships.

by Kyle Sagendorph | USA Swimming

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