Aug. 3, 2008
MINNEAPOLIS -- Rising sophomore Ellen Grigg (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Latin School) earned a pair of top-10 finishes during competition at the U.S. Open, held Tuesday through Saturday, July 29-August 2, in Minneapolis.
Grigg swam an 8:41.79 in the 800-meter freestyle Tuesday to take sixth-place overall in the event, then earned a spot in the 'B' final of the 400-meter freestyle during Thursday morning preliminary action. She came back at night to win the 'B' final with a time of 4:13.85, a strong effort that would have been good for fourth in the championship heat of the event.
The meet was swum in long course meters. While not a true national championship meet in 2008 due to the absence of swimmers who will compete in the Olympic Games in Beijing, the meet still boasted a field comprised of many of swimming's best and brightest.
"The U.S. Open was a pretty fun meet because the atmosphere is a lot more relaxed than it was at the Olympic Trials, so I felt less pressure on every swim and could just relax and not worry so much about making mistakes in my races," Grigg said. "It was still a fast meet with plenty of people to race so I think it was almost an ideal situation.
"Overall I was happy with how I swam, especially with the 400 and the 800, and it was good for me to make finals and to work on swimming fast in the morning and trying to improve at night. Mostly this meet made me really excited to get back to Northwestern in September and start getting ready for Big Ten's and NCAA's."
Grigg won a pair of All-America honors in her first season with Northwestern, capturing eighth in the 500-yard freestyle to pick up a first-team accolade while earning honorable mention status with a 10th-place effort as a member of the 800-yard freestyle relay.