Ashley Twichell – 2011 Work the Dream Grant Awardee
Ashley Twichell, a Duke University graduate, is an elite swimmer currently competing on the US National Team. During her career at Duke University, Ashley Twichell was a two-time ACC Champion and a three-time NCAA All-American in the 1650 freestyle. Following graduation, Twitchell moved to California to train with Coach Bill Rose and the prestigious Misson Viejo Nadadores Swim Team, where she excels in both pool and open water competition. Twichell won gold in the 5K U.S. Open Water Nationals, and then an individual bronze medal and relay team gold medal at the 2011 FINA Open Water Swimming Championships. Twichell then placed third at the U.S. Nationals in the 800 Freestyle, was named the 2011 Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year, and will represent the U.S. in the Pan American Games in the 800 freestyle later this year. With the Olympic Games quickly approaching, Ashley is one of the few Americans fighting for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team in both the pool and open water.
The below quotes are excepts from Ashley Twichell’s application essay for the 2011-2012 Work the Dream Grant.
After finishing the last race of my collegiate career, the 1650-yard freestyle at 2011 NCAA Championships, one of the first thoughts running through my head was “It’s not over yet”. While my 5th place finish was my highest placing at NCAA’s throughout my four years at Duke University, I knew I had more to give, more left to prove. I knew I could go further, and wasn’t going to settle for anything less; perhaps more importantly, I was still in love with the sport, and not ready or willing to give it up. After many conversations with my college coaches and parents, I decided to contact Bill Rose, head coach of the Mission Viejo Nadadores, to see if there was a possibility of training with his prestigious club.
Ashley, like Fran, left college not ready to give up her dreams, not ready to climb out of the pool one last time. When Fran graduated in 2006 from the University of Virginia he knew he had yet to reach his peak. After a 5th place finish at 2004 Olympic Trials and a 14th place finish at NCAAs, Fran uprooted himself, moving to California to train with Coach Bill Rose and push for his dream, much like Ashley did. Ashley knew it was a time to focus, a time to push directly for her dream, and this time it paid off when she became a National Champion in the 5K Open Water event and scored a bronze in the pool.
While I don’t know exactly where the road will lead me, I am certain the journey will be exhilarating. I am so thankful for all the opportunities that I’ve been given, and remind myself that the only limits that exist are those you place upon yourself.
Ashley knows how to push her limits. With the Mission Viejo Natadores and Coach Bill Rose she has yet to reach her peak, setting new personal bests at each meet she competes in. Ashley has a chance to become the first female US athlete to compete at the Olympics in both the pool and open water.
Work the Dream Ashley! We are proud to help you achieve your goals on your life’s journey in swimming!