< back
Ashley TWICHELL
Sport Open Water Swimming
NOC United States   
GenderWomen
Born16 Jun 1989 in Mount Kisco, NY, USA
 Human Interest 
Further Personal Information
Family
Husband Derek Wall
Residence
Cary, NC, USA
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
English
Higher education
Psychology - Duke University: Durham, NC, USA
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
She began swimming at age two, and joined a little leagues team at age three. "I have been swimming since a young age, our parents had me and my three siblings on the local swim team, so I have been doing it since age three."
Why this sport?
"In college, I just loved the sport itself, being part of a team, with that incredible atmosphere and dynamic of growing up through college with these amazing people around me. Luckily, after four years at Duke, I was more in love with the sport than ever, and wanted to continue."
Club / Team
TAC Titans: Cary, NC, USA
Training Regime
She trains at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary, NC, United States of America. The facility is managed by her husband.
International Debut
Year
2011
Competing for
United States
Tournament
World Championships
Location
Shanghai, CHN
General Interest
Hobbies
Reading, crafting, cooking, baking, going to the beach, spending time with her husband. (teamusa.org, 01 Jan 2019)
Memorable sporting achievement
Qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Games. (espn.com, 20 Sep 2019)
Injuries
In July 2014 she underwent shoulder surgery to fix a recurring issue that had troubled her for more than a decade. (usaswimming.org, 24 Jun 2020; swimswam.com, 07 Jul 2014)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"I've always been extremely driven from within. While training is often extremely challenging, I love pushing myself to new limits, and exceeding expectations." (swimmingworldmagazine.com, 12 Nov 2011)
Awards and honours
She was named 2011 Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year by USA Swimming. (francrippen.org, 22 Nov 2011)

She was the first recipient of the Fran Crippen Elevation Foundation 'Work the Dream' grant. (francrippen.org, 22 Nov 2011)
Other sports
She has represented the United States of America in swimming, and placed fourth in the 1500m freestyle event at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, Republic of Korea. She also competed in diving at Duke University in Durham, NC, United States of America. (goduke.com, 22 Nov 2011; SportsDeskOnline, 14 Feb 2020)
Famous relatives
Her husband Derek Wall has been CEO of the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary, NC, United States of America. (espn.com, 20 Sep 2019)
Ambitions
To work as a swimming coach after she retires from competing. (usaswimming.org, 24 Jun 2020; Instagram profile, 24 Mar 2020)
Other information
POOL BENEFITS
She says that combining pool and open water swimming has benefited her in both disciplines. "I have loved being able to bounce back and forth between competing in the pool and open water these past several years. I feel like they complement each other really well. Training for pool events sharpens my speed, which is necessary for the end of a 10km, which almost always comes down to a sprint finish. I also think these past nine years [speaking in 2020] of competing in open water has definitely made me mentally tougher, which of course is advantageous in the pool. There are so many different elements to account for in an open water race, and so many variables that are completely out of your control, that it has really forced me to work on my mental strength." (usaswimming.org, 04 Dec 2020)

FOURTH TIME IS THE CHARM
She qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games with a sixth-place finish in the 10km open water event at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, Republic of Korea. Her successful qualification came after failing to qualify for the previous three Olympic Games. "Ever since I graduated college, I have taken my swimming career year by year. Initially, when I decided to keep swimming post-collegiately, I believed I would just swim through the summer of 2011, and here I am, still competing [speaking in 2020]. At the end of each year, I have decided I was just not ready to step away and wanted to keep pushing. I kept reminding myself of all the work I put into reaching the Olympics, why I kept pursuing this goal and that I had a strong finish in me." (usaswimming.org, 24 Jun 2020; espn.com, 20 Sep 2019)

FUTURE PLANS
In 2020 she spoke about her plans to work as a swimming coach and establish a swim school following her retirement from competitive swimming. "I do have two strong passions that I am excited to pursue when that time comes [retirement]. The first is teaching children or people of any age how to swim. I have such a love and passion for the water, and I want to pass that on to others. More importantly, I want every kid and person out there to be water-safe. My husband and I have discussed plans to open up a swim school once I am done competing, and the thought of how many lives that could change really excites and motivates me." (usaswimming.org, 24 Jun 2020)

 Competition Highlights
World Championships
Rank Year Venue Event Result
4 2019 Gwangju, KOR 1500m Freestyle 15:54.19
World Championships Short Course
Rank Year Venue Event Result
2 2016 Windsor, ON, CAN 800m Freestyle 8:11.95
9 2016 Windsor, ON, CAN 400m Freestyle 4:05.27 
Pan American Games
Rank Year Venue Event Result
2 2011 Guadalajara, MEX 800m Freestyle 8:38.38
World Championships
Rank Year Venue Event Result
7 2019 Gwangju, KOR 5km 58:00.0
6 2019 Gwangju, KOR 10km 1:54:50.5
3 2019 Gwangju, KOR 5km - Team Relay 53:59.0
10 2017 Budapest, HUN 10km 2:00:41.3
1 2017 Budapest, HUN 5km 59:07.0
2 2017 Budapest, HUN 5km - Team Relay 54:18.1
9 2015 Kazan, RUS 25km 5:20:20.8
6 2015 Kazan, RUS 5km 59:10.0
5 2015 Kazan, RUS 5km - Team Time Trial 55:50.6
3 2011 Shanghai, CHN 5km 1:00:40.2
1 2011 Shanghai, CHN 5km - Team Time Trial 57:00.6
World Series
Rank Year Venue Event Result
53 2019   10km  
10 2019 Doha, QAT 10km 2:04:01.6
10 2013 San Miguel de Cozumel, MEX 10km 2:10:13.50
4 2012 Lac-Mégantic, QC, CAN 10km 2:06:04.51
Pan Pacific Championships
Rank Year Venue Event Result
4 2018 Tokyo, JPN 10km 2:08:29.6