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MARIAH DENIGAN WINS USA OPEN WATER JR NATIONALS

Mariah Denigan had an incredible performance when she won the USA Swimming Open Water Junior Nationals held in Tempe, Arizona, on Saturday this past weekend.  She topped the field by 37 seconds with a time of 1:01:05.32.  As the champion she is now qualified to compete at the FINA Junior World Open Water Swimming Championship this September in Eilat, Israel.  
     She impressed many when she swam the National 10K race on Friday as she led the entire field for over half the race and finished 10th.   James Sutherland of Swim Swam stated after this performance, “It seems clear that U.S. has a star in the making with her.”
     On the third day of competition Mariah finished 3rd in the  National 5K Open Water, beating out many more experienced swimmers.
     Mariah felt that she was a quick study and took her 10th-place finish as a learning experience, “My strategy was to not go out as fast as I did yesterday (in 10K), just hang back with the other girls who pushed me very well. Then go on the second lap and take control and take over on the third lap.  Yesterday, my coaches told me to take it out fast because I’m always very timid in the races, so I just wanted to get out there and see how long I could last with the other girls.”
     Clippers also had two other swimmers who competed:
Selina Reil – This was Selina’s second Open Water Nationals, having competed in the Women’s Junior 5K event last year.  She competed in the Women’s Junior 7.5K event and finished a strong 14th place overall.
Allie Piccirillo – This was Allie’s first time attending Open Water Nationals and first ever 5K swim in the Women’s 5K event.  She finished strong and gained valuable Open Water experience against much older athletes.