Ashley Twitchell

Ashley Grace Twichell (born June 16, 1989) is an American competition swimmer who specializes in long-distance freestyle and open-water events.


I’ve been an avid swimmer my whole life. I love the sport, not only for the physical benefits it affords, but also for the relationships I’ve formed with neat, inspiring individuals.

Over the past few years, I’ve had the joy of becoming involved with the Triangle Aquatic Center, a premier, not-for-profit aquatic facility in Cary that serves the local community through a variety of water-based programs, including a stellar competitive swim program (of which I’m a proud member at the master’s swimming level!). This short video gives you a great taste of TAC.

It’s there that I’ve become friends with a talented lady by the name of Ashley Twitchell.

Fast is an Understatement

Ashley is fast.

Freaky fast. Especially in Open Water races.

A few examples:

  • Last summer at the World Championships in Hungary, Ashley brought home gold for the United States in the 5K event. Fastest in the world.
  • Just a few weeks ago, Ashley raced in the world’s largest open water event in South Africa and won the gold…for the fourth time!
  • At USA Swimming’s 2018 TYR Pro Series stop, Ashley won the 1500 Meter Freestyle with a current world best time of 16:08.7 beating her previous personal best time by over two seconds.

Channeling Winston Churchill

What I particularly admire about Ashley is her ferocious perseverance. To quote Churchill, she “never give[s] up.” Even with all her successes, she has pushed through disappointments that would lead most to call it quits. Namely, failing to make the 2012 and 2016 Olympic teams. Rather than give up, Ashley is training harder, swimming faster, and preparing to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Ashley’s coach – John “JP” Payne – also happens to be my master’s swimming coach. JP is the best coach with whom I’ve ever worked; he is so attuned to his swimmers and is a quiet, strong motivator. Naturally, I’ve kept track of Ashley’s training through JP.

In talking with him about Ashley’s training, I was surprised to learn that as a professional swimmer, Ashley’s only financial support comes from USA Swimming and swimwear maker TYR. In other words, our local star athlete currently receives no financial support from the community in her pursuit of Olympic gold.

Championing Our Champion

Time to rally the troops, I say! Let’s get behind our local World Champion as she seeks to not only make the US Olympic Open Water team, but continue her dominance on the world stage by bringing home Tokyo gold!

My goal is to raise at least $15,000 to sponsor Ashley for the next year. These funds will not only help cover her traveling and training expenses, but also provide tangible community support for this special lady.

Sponsor Ashley for a Full Month ($1250) – monthly update from Ashley; a special dinner with Ashley; and an autographed, framed picture.

Sponsor Ashley for ½ Month ($625) – monthly update from Ashley; a group dinner with Ashley; and an autographed picture.

Sponsor Ashley for any amount – monthly update from Ashley; and an autographed picture.

Because Triangle Aquatic Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, all gifts are tax deductible!

Van Fletcher

Masters Swimmer, Triathlete, TAC Board Member