KAZAN, RUSSIA – Former Blue Devil standout Ashley Twichell edged the field by over 30 seconds to earn the gold medal in the women’s 10K open water swimming event Wednesday morning at the 2013 World University Games. The gold medal performance continued what has been an impressive open water swimming career for Twichell since graduating from Duke in 2011.
Twichell clocked a time of 2:05:00.9 on the 10K open water course to place first out of 16 swimmers from across the world. Aurora Ponsele of Italy took silver (2:05:31.9) and Karla Sitic of Croatia the bronze (2:05:32.9).
An All-American and Atlantic Coast Conference champion in the 1,650-yard freestyle at Duke, Twichell earned a spot on the U.S. open water team for Russia after taking fifth in the women’s 10K race at the 2013 U.S. Open Water National Championships in May. She was previously a member of the U.S. open water national team in 2011-12 and 2012-13 and won the inaugural 5K open water team pursuit at the 2011 FINA World Championships in Shanghai, China. Twichell was also named the Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year by USA Swimming in 2011 and won 5K and 10K open water titles at the 2012 U.S. Open Water National Championships.