Former Blue Devil standout and professional open water swimmer Ashley Twichell has joined the Duke swimming and diving coaching staff, as announced Wednesday, Sept. 10 by head coach Dan Colella. A 2011 graduate of Duke, Twichell will serve as a volunteer assistant coach, working with the Blue Devils’ male and female swimmers.
“We’re thrilled to have Ashley back working with us,” Colella said. “She has a very storied history with Duke swimming and is one of the individuals that really helped us put the program back on the national scene. With her training here in the Raleigh area and the fact that the majority of her training is in the morning, it just makes sense. She’s excited to help us out and come over a few days a week to pass on any knowledge and experience she can to our athletes. We’re thrilled to have her back at home.”
Twichell has excelled in open water swimming since concluding her collegiate career, making the U.S. open water national team roster for the fourth consecutive year in 2014-15. She won the women’s 10K open water title at the inaugural Crippen Cup in the spring and most recently finished sixth in the 10K at the U.S. Open Water National Championships. Twichell is also the winner of two consecutive Midmar Mile events and previously claimed a gold medal in the 10K at the 2013 World University Games. Her other accomplishments include sweeping the 5K and 10K titles at the 2012 Open Water National Championships, capturing the inaugural 5K open water team pursuit title at the 2011 World Championships and being named the 2011 Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year by USA Swimming.
During her career at Duke, Twichell was an All-American and All-ACC champion in the 1,650-yard freestyle. She qualified for the NCAA Championship all four seasons and as a freshman was the first Duke swimmer to compete at the national meet in four years. As a senior in 2011, Twichell guided the Blue Devil women to a top-20 finish at NCAAs for the first time in school history, placing a career-best fifth in the mile. Also an Academic All-American at Duke, she remains the women’s program record holder in the 500, 1,000 and 1,650-yard freestyle events.
College Swimming News courtesy of Duke Swimming and Diving.