Katie Grimes, Frenchman Axel Reymond Win 10K Titles at Open Water Nationals

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Katie Grimes, Frenchman Axel Reymond Win 10K titles at Open Water Nationals

Katie Grimes and Frenchman Axel Reymond opened the 2022 Open Water Nationals with wins in the 10-kilometer race Friday.

Friday’s races in Fort Myers Beach, Fla., kick off three straight days of racing. The top six finishers earn spots on the 2022 U.S. Open Water National Team, from May 1-Oct. 31, 2022. They’ll be in contention for the 2022 Open Water World Championships, as part of the 2022-23 team that is named starting Nov. 1.

Grimes led the women’s field across the line in 2:16:40. She was second to Sandpipers teammate Erica Sullivan after two laps but pulled ahead on the third lap. She outlasted Mariah Denigan down the stretch, winning by a minute and 10 seconds.

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

France picked up three of the top six spots, with Caroline Jouisse third, Aurelie Muller fourth and Caroline Pou sixth. Summer Smith snuck into that top six in fifth. Sullivan did not finish.

In the men’s race, Brennan Gravley led the way through four laps, with Reymond outside the top four. But the Frenchman charged over the final lap to win by four seconds, in 2:02:49. Gravley was second ahead of brother Dylan Gravley, giving Sandpipers three top-three finishers combined.

“I’m excited,” Brennan Gravley said. “It’s one of my favorite parts of being a USA Swimming athlete, 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.”

Joey Tepper finished fourth with Olympian Michael Brinegar fifth.

Women’s 10K

  1. Katie Grimes (Las Vegas, Nev./Sandpipers of Nevada), 2:16:40*
  2. Mariah Denigan (Walton, Ky./Indiana University), 2:17:50*
  3. Caroline Jouisse (France), 2:18:34
  4. Aurelie Muller (France), 2:21:01
  5. Summer Smith (Agawam, Mass./Bluefish Swim Club), 2:21:07*
  6. Caroline Pou (France), 2:21:44
  7. Anna Auld (West Palm Beach, Fla./University of Florida), 2:21:50*
  8. Kensey McMahon (Jacksonville, Fla./University of Alabama), 2:22:00*
  9. Brooke Travis (Newark, Del./NC State), 2:25:51*
  10. Blair Stoneburg (Jensen Beach, Fla./Treasure Coast Aquatics), 2:26:58

Men’s 10K

  1. Axel Reymond (France), 2:02.49
  2. Brennan Gravley (Las Vegas, Nev./Sandpipers of Nevada/University of Florida), 2:02:53*
  3. Dylan Gravley (Las Vegas, Nev./Sandpipers of Nevada/Arizona State University), 2:03:13*
  4. Joey Tepper (Egg Harbor Township, N.J./University of Tennessee), 2:03:39*
  5. Michael Brinegar (Columbus, Ind./Mission Viejo Nadadores/Indiana University), 2:05:44*
  6. Ondrej Zach (Czech Republic), 2:07:40
  7. Simon Lamar (Sonora, Calif./Harvard University), 2:08:27*
  8. David Heron (Mission Viejo, Calif./Mission Viejo Nadadores), 2:10:20*
  9. Marcel Schouten (Netherlands), 2:12:03
  10. TC Smith (Bradenton, Fla./University of Louisville), 2:12:09

* U.S. Open Water National Teamers