U.S. Open: 15-Year-Old Arabella Sims Wins 800 Free in Irvine

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U.S. Open: 15-Year-Old Arabella Sims Wins 800 Free in Irvine

Teenage distance standouts have long been part of the USA Swimming fabric and the latest athlete to potentially fit that mold put her talent on display on Thursday night, as Arabella Sims was the first-place finisher in the 800-meter freestyle at the Irvine site of the U.S. Open. Racing at the William Woollett Aquatic Center, Sims put together a winning time of 8:27.01, which was good for a four-second decision of runnerup Erica Sullivan.

A 15-year-old who last year set a National Age Group record in the 1000-yard freestyle, Sims managed the fastest time of any woman from the nine sites that make up this pandemic version of the U.S. Open. Representing the Sandpipers, Sims split 4:12.50 at the midway point and covered her last eight laps in 4:14.51. Sullivan touched in second in 8:31.38.

Olympian Jordan Wilimovsky topped the men’s competition in Irvine, his time of 8:01.40 quick enough to fend off the 8:02.15 of John Gallant.  Wilimovsky is already qualified for next year’s delayed Olympic Games in Tokyo in the 10K open-water event.

At the San Antonio site, Jack Collins emerged on top among the men, thanks to a performance of 8:04.07. The women’s race was won by Rylie Lopez, who just missed cracking the nine-minute barrier with a 9:00.33 effort. Up in Des Moines, Fabio Dalu was the men’s winner in 8:05.98 and Peyton Palsha took a 10-second win in the women’s race behind a time of 8:47.63.

The Huntsville location featured Kensey McMahon taking first place in 8:51.37 among the women and Connor Lamastra hitting the wall in 8:26.62 in men’s action.

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