Aurelie Muller Wins Women’s 5k at US Open Water Nationals, Bella Sims Third


In the final women’s senior event at the 2022 US Open Water National Championships, French Swimmer Aurelie Muller took home the win in the women’s 5k. Fellow French Caroline Joiusse came in second, and U.S. pool Olympian Bella Sims of the Sandpipers of Nevada finished third as the top American finisher.

Jouisse, Sims, and Kensey McMahon were 1-2-3 following lap 1, but Muller made a charge to take the lead after lap 2 while Jouisse and Sims fell to second and third. The top three remained unchanged following the conclusion of lap 3, which decided the race.

Muller, a two-time world champion in the women’s 10k, took fourth in the women’s 10k earlier this meet.

When the race was swam, it was 80 degrees outside with 68% humidity, cloudy, but less windy than previous days.


  1. Aurelie Muller (FRA)
  2. Caroline Joiusse (FRA)
  3. Bella Sims
  4. Lisa Pou (FRA)
  5. Leah Degeorge
  6. Kensey McMahon
  7. Mariah Denigan
  8. Sophia Knapp

Although the senior 5k does not count towards U.S. qualification for the 2022 FINA World Championships and the 2022 FINA World Junior Championships, the race serves as a tie breaker for senior worlds. American swimmers are awarded points based on their finishes in the 10k National Championships and the 2022 FINA Marathon Swim in May, and the two swimmers from both the male and female category with the most points will qualify for worlds. However, if there is a tie in terms of points between two swimmers, the swimmer with the higher place finish in the 5k will have a higher ranking.

This tiebreaker rule is signficant for American swimmers like Mariah Denigan and Kensey McMahon, who placed second and eigth in the 10k respectivley.

As Sims is 16 years old, the only way that she would qualify for world juniors would be if she was one of the top two Americans in the women’s junior 7.5k race, which she is not entered in. In addition, she cannot be selected for the U.S. Open Water National team or the junior national team since she did not compete in the 10k. Sims is on the 2021-22 U.S. National team in pool swimming for the 800 free.

2022 FINA World Junior Open Water Championships Selection Criteria:

  • Top two male and female finishers from the 5k Junior Nationals (14-15 age group)
  • Top two male and female finishers from the 7.5k Junior Nationals (16-17 age group)
  • Top two male and female finishers from the 10k Nationals (18-19 eligible athletes)

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About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Although Yanyan wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming through scoring countless dual meets, being a timer, and keeping track of her teammates' best times for three years as a team manager. She eventually ventured into the realm of writing and joined SwimSwam in …

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