BUDAPEST, Hungary – A day after capturing gold in the open water five-kilometer event at the 2017 FINA World Aquatic Championships, former Blue Devil All-American Ashley Twichell was back on the podium Thursday. The 2011 Duke graduate earned silver as a member of the United States’ 5K team relay.
Each member of the relay covered 1.25K, with Twichell swimming the second leg. She followed Brendan Casey, putting the U.S. just 27 seconds behind race leader Great Britain by the end of her swim. Haley Anderson kept the relay in fifth place on the third leg, and Jordan Wilimovsky anchored the relay, pushing the U.S. into the second position for silver. The group notched a time of 54:18.1, with France claiming gold (54:05.9) and Italy the bronze (54:31.0).
“A couple of them came up on me, and I tried to stay on their feet,” Twichell said of swimming her leg of the relay against several male competitors. “I felt like I was drafting pretty well, and then I had a few more come up on either side of me. They’re pretty strong, so it takes a little bit out of you, but I stayed with them as best as I could.”
After claiming her second medal of the meet, Twichell became the first American athlete with four career FINA World Championships open water medals. She previously won bronze in the 5K and gold in the team pursuit event at the 2011 FINA World Championships.
The 2017 FINA World Aquatic Championships continue through Sunday, July 30 in Budapest. Current Blue Devil Isabella Paez will take to the pool next week, swimming for Venezuela in the women’s 100 and 200-meter butterfly events.