Bella Sims Stunned After Two World Junior Records: ‘Let’s Hope I Sleep Tonight!’

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Bella Sims barely had time to catch her breath after breaking her first world junior record.

It should have been a time for elation and excitement, but Sims didn’t have time for any of that after she broke the world junior record in the 200 freestyle.

Just 12 minutes later, she was back in the water racing the 100 backstroke. And just 12 minutes later, she had another world junior record.

“I completely did not expect that at all. I was like, ‘It can’t be a world (junior) record?’” Bella Sims said. “Let’s hope I sleep tonight!”

How quick of a turnaround is 12 minutes? Let’s put it this way, it happened faster than teammate Katie Grimesworld junior record in the 1500 today. Sims had a record, an on-deck interview, a quick cool down, another race, another win and another interview all in less time than Grimes spent in the water during her record.

“It was fun. I have never swam short-course meters before this meet, so it was really fun to explore a new world of swimming. I really enjoyed that,” Bella Sims said.

Sims set the record in the 200 free in 1:52.59 and then 55.75 in the 100 backstroke to win over a loaded field an an event that has not been her primary.

It all adds up to a pretty impressive day for the Sandpipers of Nevada club, with three world junior records in one day coming from the group’s teen Olympians.

“Three, that is crazy,” Sims said. “(Watching Katie) was amazing. She definitely inspired me today.”

Grimes broke the world junior record in the 1500 freestyle during an afternoon time trial at 15:42.05, then swam the 400 IM (4:27.11) in the evening and somehow had the energy to get second behind Sydney Pickrem.

“I really do love the 400 IM but I was a little tired from this morning. I didn’t really know what to expect,” Grimes said. “The field of girls motivated me. The 400 IM field is constantly changing and I am always on my toes. Sydney put up a great battle at the end.”

But Katie Grimes has been training for a battle as had Bella Sims.

“My coaches put me in some pretty tough triples sometimes. But that was the toughest double I have ever done — the 400 IM is the hardest race in swimming, no doubt,” Grimes said. “It is only three days of racing so I wanted to get in as many races as I could without overdoing it.  We just wanted to see what we could throw down.”

But despite breaking the record in the 1500, she still wasn’t satisfied.

“I was trying to get a time in, but I am not to happy with it honestly. I think I could have gone a lot faster,” she said.

It is that drive and determination that has showcased what the Sandpipers are all about.

“It is definitely the environment. I love my teammates so much and we just try to motivate each other every day in practice,” Bella Sims said. “We always push each other and it is the best.”


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