Jackson Carlile, Mariah Denigan Claim U.S. Junior National 5K Titles


After the National 10K for both men and women kicked off the 2018 U.S. Open Water Nationals on Friday, the Junior National 5K went off on Saturday morning. The 5K, only for swimmers aged 14-15, acted as a qualifier for the World Junior Championships, with the top two of each gender earning a qualifying slot. There was a stark contrast between the number of swimmers in each race, with only ten for the boys and 32 for the girls.

In the boys event, Jackson Carlile from the Fishers Area Swimming Tigers won a close finish over Ridgefield Aquatic Club’s Connor Hunt, as Carlile was the only one to crack the one hour mark in 59:57.91. Hunt was just over two seconds back in 1:00:00.26, nabbing the second World Junior spot. Gabe Machado from Boise YMCA was close behind for 3rd (1:00:04.36), while 4th place Brice Barrieault (1:01:07.39) was just over a minute back of them for 4th.

Per USA Swimming Live on Twitter, this was amazingly Carlile’s first ever open water race.


Boys Top 5

  1. Jackson Carlile, Fishers Area Swimming Tigers, 59:57.91
  2. Conner Hunt, Ridgefield Aquatic Club, 1:00:00.26
  3. Gabriel Machado, Boise YMCA Swim Team, 1:00:04.36
  4. Brice Barrieault, Sandpipers of Nevada, 1:01:07.39
  5. John Anderson, Lakeside Swim Team, 1:03:00.39

The girls side saw an incredible performance from Mariah Denigan, who topped the field by 37 seconds in 1:01:05.32 (which would’ve been good enough for 4th in the boys race). Even more impressive is the fact that Denigan swam the national 10K race on Friday, and even led the entire field early on before ultimately placing 10th. It seems clear the U.S. has a star in the making with her. Denigan represents the Northern KY Clippers.

The race for 2nd wasn’t a close one either, with Claire Pophal of the Lake Erie Silver Dolphins getting the 2nd World Junior spot in a time of 1:01:42.34. 3rd went to Anna Auld (1:02:31.78), and 4th to Nicole Stiles (1:02:45.48).

Girls Top 5

  1. Mariah Denigan, Northern KY Clippers Swimming, 1:01:05.32
  2. Claire Pophal, Lake Erie Silver Dolphins, 1:01:42.34
  3. Anna Auld, East Coast Aquatic Club, 1:02:31.78
  4. Nicole Stiles, N/A, 1:02:45.48
  5. Mackenzie Lanning, Lakeside Swim Team, 1:03:05.80

Leave a Reply

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

Read More »