FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Recent Duke alum Ashley Twichell punched her ticket to the 2011 FINA World Championships in Shanghai when she placed third in the women's 10K Open Water Nationals in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Friday.
This was the second open water competition for the Fayetteville, N.Y. native who touched at 2:18.36.76, earning her a spot on the podium.
"The water was about 20 degrees warmer (than last year) and there were four to six foot waves," said Twichell. "At the beginning I tried to get out with the lead pack, but the last 1000 yards it was neck and neck."
This will be the first international competition for Twichell, and honor doubles as a great gift for the soon-to-be birthday girl (June 16). Twichell will head to the Florida Keys in early July to meet up with her fellow open water swimmers for training camp prior to the World Championships.
"I very excited about medaling and to be going to China," said Twichell. "I'm just happy about the opportunity to compete and represent in the USA." She will compete in the 5K distance in Shanghai.
The selection to the USA National Team is, thus far, the highest accolade for Twichell after a great senior year, which included an ACC Championship title and All-America honors, both in the 1650 free.
Also representing the USA in China will be Duke head diving coach Drew Johansen, who will serve as the head coach for the USA diving team, which includes Duke divers Abby Johnston and Nick McCrory. Johnston is set to compete in the women's 1-meter springboard individual event, while McCrory will compete in both the men's 10-meter individual and synchronized event with partner David Boudia. The 2011 World Championships will be held in Shanghai, China, July 16-31, and serves as the first opportunity for countries to qualify their dives for the 2012 Olympic Games.
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