Tuggle, Mitchell, Sancov Win 2018 Junior Nationals High Point Awards


14-year old Claire Tuggle from the Clovis Swim Club in California won the girls’ high point award, while 16-year old Jake Mitchell from the Carmel Swim Club in Indiana and 18-year old Alexei Sancov from the Terrapins Swim Team in California tied as high-point award winners at the 2018 Speedo Junior National Championships.

After winning two U18 National Championships at the regular National meet last week, in the 200 free and 400 free, Tuggle raced on a quick turnaround this week at Junior Nationals and added 3 Junior National titles (not the same thing) to her list of accolades.

Ironically, in one of the two races, the 200 free, where she was the fastest 18 & under swimmer last week, she finished just 3rd at Junior Nationals (about a second slower) than she was at nationals).

She did, however, double up in the 400 free, dropping half-a-second from nationals, and added wins and lifetime bests in two new races that she didn’t swim at Nationals: the 200 IM and 400 IM.

Tuggle’s 2018 Junior National Results (in order of swims):

  • 400 IM, 1st place – 4:44.91
  • 400 free relay, 9th place – 56.38 split (anchor)*
  • 400 free, 1st place – 4:10.11
  • 200 free, 3rd place – 2:00.80
  • 800 free relay, 3rd place – 2:00.47 split (anchor)*
  • 200 IM, 1st place – 2:15.02
  • 400 medley relay, 21st place – 1:15.03 breaststroke split*

* – Relay results don’t impact high point awards

The boys’ race came down to a tie between Mitchell and Sancov, a 2016 Moldovan Olympian who says he’s done representing his native country and is working toward U.S. citizenship.

Jake Foster was just 1 point behind them, with Ivan Puskovitch just another half-point behind Foster in one of the tightest high-point battles in meet history.

While Mitchell and Sancov wound up with the same number of points, they used very different paths to arrive at the top of the rankings. Mitchell swam 5 individual races, focusing mostly on the longer freestyle events, and didn’t earn a single victory. Sancov focused on the shorter freestyle and butterfly races, and finished in the top 2 in 3 of his 4 individual swims, including a win in the 200 free.

Sancov’s runner-up finishes were both behind his 16-year old Terrapins teammate Andrei Minakov, who was 5th in the high point standings.

Mitchell’s 2018 Junior National Results (in order of swims):

  • 1500 free, 3rd place – 15:36.21
  • 400 IM, 9th place – 4:26.11
  • 400 free relay, 9th place – 51.39 split (anchor)*
  • 400 free, 2nd place – 3:52.88
  • 800 free relay, 7th place – 1:51.74 split (anchor)*
  • 200 free, 9th place – 1:50.91
  • 800 free, 3rd place – 8:08.87
  • 400 medley relay, 9th place – 51.93 freestyle split (anchor)*

* – Relay results don’t impact high point awards

Sancov’s 2018 Junior National Results (in order of swims):

  • 100 free, 2nd place – 49.58
  • 400 free relay, 1st place – 49.55 split (2nd leg)*
  • 100 fly, 2nd place – 53.28
  • 800 free relay, 3rd place – 1:49.59 split (anchor)*
  • 200 free, 1st place – 1:47.75
  • 50 free, 6th place – 23.11
  • 400 medley relay, 2nd place – 49.69 freestyle split (anchor)*

* – Relay results don’t impact high point awards

The youngest swimmer in the girls’ top 10 is 13-year old Erin Gemmell of Nation’s Capital, daughter of 2016 Olympic assistant Bruce Gemmell, who won the 200 free. The boys’ top 10 were all 16-and-over, with 15-year old Zachary Tan from the Phoenix Swim Club being the highest-finishing younger swimmer in 31st place.

NBAC, the club most famous as home to most of Michael Phelps’ career, put two swimmers, Easop Lee and Lauren Poole, in the girls’ top 10. Brothers Carson and Jake Foster were both in the top 10 of the boys’ standings for the Mason Manta Rays, in addition to the Terrapins pair mentioned above.

No club had both a male and a female swimmer finish in their respective top-10.

Top 10 High Point  Awards


  1. Claire Tuggle, 14-years old, Clovis Swim Club – 76 points
  2. Kensey McMahon, 18-years old, Bolles School Sharks – 70 points
  3. Alexandra Crisera, 17-years old, Beach Cities Swimming – 57 points
  4. Easop Lee, 18-years old, North Baltimore Aquatic Club – 54 points
  5. Grace Sheble, 15-years old, NOVA of Virginia Aquatics/Kaitlyn Dobler, 16-years old, The Dolphins Portland Swimming – 49 points
  6. Lauren Poole, 17-years old, North Baltimore Aquatic Club – 47 points
  7. Kylee Alons, 18-years old, Fort Collins Area Swim Team – 45 points
  8. Erin Gemmell, 13-years old, Nation’s Capital – 44 points
  9. Claire Donan, 16-years old, Triton Swimming – 43 points


  1. Jake Mitchell, 16-years old, Carmel Swim Club/Alexei Sancov, 18-years old, Terrapins Swim Team – 67 points
  2. Jake Foster, 17-years old, Mason Manta Rays – 66 points
  3. Ivan Puskovitch, 17-years old, Episcopal Academy Aquatic Club – 65.5 points
  4. Andrei Minakov, 16-years old, Terrapins Swim Team – 57 points
  5. Jake Magahey, 16-years old, SwimAtlanta – 55 points
  6. Carson Foster, 16-years old, Mason Manta Rays – 54 points
  7. Jason Louser, 17-years old, Long Island Aquatic Club – 53 points
  8. Kevin Vargas, 17-years old, La Mirada Armada – 51 points
  9. Skyler Cook-Weeks, 18-years old, Michigan Lakeshore Aquatics – 43 points


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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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