Mariah Denigan

View Current photo via Courtesy of Mike Lewis

Mariah Denigan is a distance and open-water swimmer. She has made multiple US rosters for international meets and is an All-American for Indiana University. 

High School

Mariah Denigan was ranked 20th in SwimSwam’s high school class of 2021. She announced her verbal commitment to Indiana on October 16, 2019.

In SwimSwam’s junior year re-rank of the high school class of 2021, Denigan Moved up to #13.

Denigan blasted a 4:44.58 in the 500 at the 2012 NAC January Tri Meet, marking the second-fastest swim of her career. Denigan established her best time back in December of 2018 at 4:44.25, which currently ranks her 89th in the 15-16 age group. This swim also narrowly missed making the top 100 all-time in the 17-18 category, with 100th currently standing at 4:44.34.

At the Kentucky LSC Short Course Championships, Denigan posted some promising short course bests. She went 1:48.06 in the 200 free, 4:42.65 in the 500 free, 9:36.46 in the 1000 free, and 16:10.05 in the 1650 free. Perhaps most notably though, she went 4:08.35 in the 400 IM.

In SwimSwam’s final re-rank of the class of 2021, Denigan moved up to #7 as one of the only classic distance free/IMers to make major strides in 2021. She had big drops of four seconds in the 400 IM, 16 in the mile, 10 in the 1000 free, and close to two in the 500. Coming out of her junior year her times were good enough to earn an NCAA invite, but now she’s got scoring times in three events. 

College (Indiana)


In her first non-intrasquad meet for IU, Denigan won the 1000 free with a solid 9:55.13 against Kentucky and Indiana State for a double dual meet. Previously, she had posted an unofficial 9:58.17 in the Cream and Crimson Intersquad alongside a 4:50.85 500. Against Northwestern, Denigan posted a nearly identical 1000 free to her season best: 9:55.16, and undercut her unofficial season best in the 500 with a 4:50.82. She won both.

In a quad with Ohio State, Penn State, and Virginia Tech, Denigan kicked off her meet by winning the 500 free, swimming a 4:49.18. She then went on to win the 1000 on day 2, clocking a 9:56.13 to win by 5 seconds.

With just a few months in Bloomington, Denigan made some noise at the 2021 Ohio State Invite. She led the prelims of the 500 free with a 4:41.76 but fell one spot in the finals. Nonetheless, her 4:41.21 was a best time and one of the fastest times in the country to that point. She put up another best in the 1650 to finish 2nd again. Her 16:08.80 undercut her 16:10.05 previous best. She also put up a 4:10.24 400 IM. 

Denigan was off her best form at the 2021 Big 10 Championships. In the 500, she went 4:43.16 in prelims and wound up 8th in the finals with a 4:45.70. In the 1650 free, she was 16:17.18 for 11th. In the 400 IM, she was 4:12.46 in prelims before adding to a 4:14.55 for 8th again in finals. She still scored a solid 60 points. 

She was in better form at NCAAs. She placed 22nd in the 500 with a 4:42.58. In the 1650, she went a best time of 16:06.55 for 18th while she went 4:12.92 in the 400 IM for 34th.


Denigan opened her season at the Cream and Crimson Intersquad.  She swept the women’s distance events, first swimming a 16:40.86 to win the mile. Then she managed to touch Ching Hwee Gan out at the finish, posting a 4:51.36 to Gan’s 4:51.63 in the 500. Against Kentucky she won the 1000 in 9:53.26 and the 500 with a 4:50.47.

Against the Texas Longhorns in Austin, Denigan also doubled up in the distance events. She got the first win of the night with a 9:45.47 victory in the 1000 free and then took the 500 in 4:48.47.

At the Ohio State Invite, Denigan took on a bunch of individual events and a relay lead-off. Leading off IU’s 800 free B relay, she posted a season-best of 1:50.01. In the 500, it was another season-best with a 4:41.89. In the 1000 and 1650, she went 9:44.96 and 16:08.72 for yet more season bests. She also went a personal best of 1:57.42 in the 200 back and a season-best 4:14.75 in the 400 IM.

Denigan again swept the distance free events against Michigan as she won the 1000 free in a 9:48.93 and the 500 free in a 4:49.77. She also touched 2nd (1:59.09) in the 200 back. She closed the dual meet seasons against Loyuisviull with yet another 500/1000 sweep. In the 500 free, she was 4:48.14 and in the  1000 free she was 9:48.97.

Denigan was on fantastic form at the 2023 Big 10 Championships. She started things off with a solid 4:11.27 in the 400 IM prelims. She ended up 5th in the finals with a 4:11.25 season best. In the 500 free, she dropped a 4:40.72 personal best in prelims. That night, she hacked off a further .2 seconds to place 4th in 4:40.52. Then in the 1650, she dropped a massive 8.73 seconds to place 3rd. Her 15:57.82 was her first time under 16 minutes. 

At NCAA Championships in Knoxville, Tennessee, Denigan dropped the 400 IM from her schedule. She added a bit to go 4:41.29 in the 500 free and place 23rd. In the 1650, Denigan scored her first NCAA points. She placed an impressive 7th after cutting 5.64 seconds 0ff her best to lead the “slow heats” with a 15:52.18.

National/International Competition

2018 Summer Nationals (Irvine, California)

In Irvine, Denigan placed 6th in the 800 free (8:28.15), 10th in the 400 IM (4:40.62), 21st in the 400 free (4:14.71), and 7th in the 1,500 (16:19.29). For her placings, Denigan earned a spot on the 2018 Jr Pan Pacs team and the 2019 Pan American Games team.

2018 Jr Pan Pacific Championships (Suva, Fiji)

In Fiji, Denigan placed 2nd in the 800 free (8:30.01), 2nd in the 400 IM (4:41.39), 3rd in the 400 free (4:12.59), and 2nd in the 1,500 (16:24.35).

2018 FINA Open Water Jr Championships (Eliat, Isreal)

Coming off of a 4 medal performance in Fiji, Denigan competed in Open Water Jrs in Israel, where she finished the 14-15 5k in 1:01:06.6, clipping Spain’s Janna Blaya Corrons by 0.1 at the finish to win the bronze.

2019 Open Water Nationals (Miami, Florida)

Denigan took 7th in the 10k at OW Nats with a time of 2:00:45.38.

2019 Pan American Games (Lima, Peru)

Denigan was the silver medalist in the 800 free (8:34.18). She finished fourth in the 400 free (4:12.23), missing the podium by 0.18 seconds, and also fourth in the 1500 free (16:27.50). Denigan was fifth in the 400 IM (4:48.47).

2021 U.S. Open Water National Championship (Fort Myers Beach, Florida)

Denigan won the junior 7.5k. The swim secured her spot on the 2021 World Juniors team with a 33-second winning margin at 1:40.05.

2020(1) Olympic Team Trials (Omaha, Nebraska)

Denigan missed out on any finals as she added from her season bests in all 4 events she swam. If she had been near her best times, she would have made finals in the 400 IM and the 800/1500 free.

2021 Las Vegas Open Water Champions Cup (Las Vegas, Nevada)

Deniugan placed 3rd in the women’s 10k elite race. Post-meet, USA Swimming released the 2021-2022 US Open Water National Team. Denigan made the cut, her 2nd national team berth. 

2022 U.S. Open Water National and Junior National Championships (Fort Myers Beach, Florida)

Denigan qualified for the 2022 National Team (active roster from May 1, 2022, to October 31, 2022) courtesy of her 2nd place finish in the women’s 10k behind Katie Grimes. Denigan also qualified to represent the Us at the 2022 FINA Open Water Junior World Championships. She also finished 7th in the 5k.

Following the FINA Marathon Swim World Series in Portugal, Denigan was named to the 2022 World Open Water Championships U.S. Roster for the 10k.

2022 US National Championships (Irvine, California)

Denigan returned to the pool to race for the first time in a while. Denigan did not compete at US Trials in the spring but did place 15th at Open Water World Championships. In the 800 free, Denigan placed 2nd behind Katie Ledecky with an 8:31.12. Notably, she was not in the same heat as Ledecky and actually raced in the morning. In the 1500 free, she was again 2nd, this time behind Maddy Gough in a best time of 16:12.44. In the 400 free, she swam another best of 4:11.18 in prelims. She placed 6th in the finals with a 4:12.53. She also placed 8th in the 400 IM with a 4:45.54. 

Denigan ended up being named to the 2022-23 National Team roster for the 1500 and 10k.

2023 U.S. Open Water National Championships (Sarasota, Florida)

Denigan placed 2nd in the 10k, just 15 seconds back of the national champion Katie Grimes. Her 1:58:23 put her in contention for Open Water Worlds. She also placed 3rd in the 5k with a 58:42.49, just 4.34 seconds back from the winner Katie Grimes. She was also beaten by Spaniard Angela Martinez. Her meet qualified her for the 2023-24 Open Water National Team.

2023 World Aquatics Open Water World Cup–Meet 2 (Golfo Aranci, Italy)

USA Swimming finalized the Worlds roster following the Open Water World Cup stop in Golfo Aranci, Italy. Denigan placed 6th in 1:56:31.2 in the women’s 10k.

2023 International Team Trials (Indianapolis, Indiana)

Denigan placed 8th in the 800 free with an 8:34.93. In the 1500, she placed 6th in 16:19.02. Both swims were Olympic Trials cuts.

International Medals

Place Event Year Meet
Silver 800 Free 2019 Pan American Championships

Best Times

Course Event Time Date Meet
scy 500 Free 4:40.52 02/16/23 2023 Big 10 Championships
Ann Arbor, Michigan
scy 1000 Free 9:35.50 03/18/23 2023 NCAA Division 1 Women’s Championships
Knoxville, Tennessee
scy 1650 Free 15:52.18 03/18/23 2023 NCAA Division 1 Women’s Championships
Knoxville, Tennessee
scy 400 IM 4:08.35 03/12/21 2021 Kentucky SC Championships
Louisville, Kentucky
lcm 400 Free 4:11.18 07/29/22 2022 Summers Nationals
Irvine, California
lcm 800 Free 8:28.15 07/25/18 2018 Summer Nationals
Irvine, California
lcm 1500 Free 16:12:44 07/30/22 2022 Summer Nationals
Irvine, California
lcm 400 IM 4:40.62 07/27/18 2018 Summer Nationals
Irvine, California