USA Swimming announced the captains for the 29th World University Games, also known as Summer Universiade 2017, that begins on Sunday, August 20th in Taipei, Taiwan. Ali DeLoof of University of Michigan, Ella Eastin from Stanford, NC State’s Ryan Held, and University of Texas’ Will Licon will lead the swimming delegation from the United States.
Full USA roster can be found here. And here, with explanations.
DeLoof graduated from Michigan in 2016 and has remained in Ann Arbor for the past 18 months to continue training with Club Wolverine while attending graduate school. She was a two-time NCAA All-American for the Wolverines in the 50 free and 100 free, and a six-time NCAA All-America Honorable Mention (2016: 100 back, 200 free relay, 400 free relay; 2014: 100 back, 200 medley relay; 2013: 200 medley relay). She is slated to swim the 50 back and 100 back in Taipei. She took bronze in the 50 backstroke at last year’s Short Course World Championships.
Eastin, who is heading into her junior year at Stanford, is by comparison a seasoned veteran in representing the US in international competition. She first suited up for the Red, White, and Blue at the age of 16 at the 2013 World Junior Championships in Dubai, where she won the 400 IM with a Championship Record and earned a silver in the 200 IM. She then captained Team USA at 2014 Junior Pan Pacs and won gold in both the 200 IM and 400 IM. At the 2016 Short Course World Championships in Canada last December, Eastin won silver in the 400 IM. Because of a disqualification in the 400 IM at World Championship Trials in June, Eastin will not be swimming the event in Taipei. Instead she will compete in the 200 fly and 200 IM.
Held, a rising senior at North Carolina State University, is an Olympic gold medalist, having contributed to Team USA’s victory in the 400 freestyle relay in Rio. He was an NCAA All-American this past collegiate season in the 50 free, 100 free, 100 fly, 200 free relay, 400 free, relay, 800 free relay, and 200 medley relay. He is entered in the 50 free and 100 free at World University Games.
Will Licon swam four years for the University of Texas, wrapping up his collegiate career at the 2017 NCAA Championships with five gold medals (200 IM, 100 breast, 200 breast, 200 medley relay, and 400 medley relay). He represented the United States in 2012 at Junior Pan Pacs and came within 0.14 of making the Rio team in the 200 breast with his third-place finish at Trials. Licon set NCAA, American, U.S. Open, Championship, and pool records in the 200 breast at 2017 NCAAs. He was also on the NCAA, U.S. Open, Championship, and pool record-breaking 400 medley relay at that meet. He will swim the 200 breast and 200 IM in Taipei.
Congrats to our World University Games captains: @afooled, @ella_eastin, @heldilox & @WillLicon #SUTaipei2017 #FISU #USATeam pic.twitter.com/K5evN4EOjj
— USA Swimming (@USASwimming) August 18, 2017