USA Swimming adds 8 medals on final night at the pool
GWANGJU, South Korea – Lindsay Vrooman (Baden, Pa.) in the women’s 800-meter freestyle and Jay Litherland (Alpharetta, Ga.) in the men’s 400m IM won gold representing Team USA on Friday on day seven of the World University Games at the Nambu University International Aquatics Center.
In a lifetime-best of 8 minutes, 26.67 seconds, Vrooman won the women’s 800m free ahead of Italy’s Martina Rita Caramignoli (8:28.43) and Australia’s Kiah Melverton (8:31.80). Before taking first place Friday, Vrooman competed in the women’s 1500m and 400m free distances, finishing second in both.
“I won two silvers at first, so stepping up one is exciting. I’ve never won a gold medal at an international meet, so I’m happy with my swim,” Vrooman said. “I think this is really setting the bar for me. I want to continue to improve from here.”
Litherland, competing in his only event at this year’s Games, won the men’s 400m IM in 4:12.43, with Team USA teammate Josh Prenot (Santa Maria, Calif.) grabbing silver (4:13.15) and Japan’s Keita Sunama taking third (4:13.98).
Vrooman and Litherland’s performances brought the Team USA to a total of 15 gold medals in Gwangju. With an additional 10 silver and eight bronze medals, the United States totaled 33 medals for its most in World University Games competition since at least 2001.
In other finals action Friday, Paul Powers (Gainesville, Ga.) won bronze in the men’s 50m free, finishing in 22.34 seconds. Emma Reaney (Lawrence, Kan.) tied for bronze in the women’s 50m breast with Italy’s Martina Carraro, both finishing in 31.11 seconds. Winning her second bronze medal after placing third in the 400 IM on day one of the Games, Hali Flickinger (Spring Grove, Pa.) finished the women’s 200m fly in 2:08.80.
Rounding out the competition Friday, Team USA’s men’s and women’s 400m medley relays won silver and bronze, respectively. On the men’s side, Jacob Pebley (Corvallis, Ore.), DJ Macdonald (Toledo, Ohio), Matthew Josa (Fort Mill, S.C.) and Jack Conger (Rockville, Md.) finished in 3:34.61, just .05 seconds behind Russia. For the women, Elizabeth Pelton (Baltimore, Md.), Lilly King (Evansville, Ind.), Felicia Lee (Wayne, N.J.) and Shannon Vreeland (Overland Park, Kan.) won bronze in 4:00.75 behind Italy and Russia.
Complete meet details, including results, can be found here.
Open water competition will take place Saturday in the Jangseong Lake Regatta, with the men’s final taking off at 8:00 a.m. locally (7 p.m. EDT Friday), and the women’s final will begin 15 minutes later.
In the United States, a one-hour swimming and diving recap show will air on ESPNU on July 16. A complete webcast and broadcast schedule can be found here.
The World University Games feature 21 different sports and thousands of student-athletes from more than 170 countries. The event was created to celebrate university students and their commitment to education and sport.
Note: Team USA’s media guide for the 2015 World University Games is available at usaswimming.org/media.