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Drury University swimmer Wen Xu dies after paramedics called to practice

Xu
Xu Photo courtesy of Drury Athletics

Drury University swimmer Wen Xu, who won an NCAA Division II national championship last year, died Thursday after “experiencing a medical emergency” during practice in Springfield, the school confirmed. She was 22.

Xu, who went by Ariel, was originally from Shanghai, China, but transferred to Drury as a sophomore.

According to a school news release, Xu was with the team at practice Thursday afternoon when she experienced a medical emergency. The paramedics were called, and Xu was taken to Mercy Hospital in Springfield, where she was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.

“This is a terrible tragedy, and we ask that the community keep our students and Ariel’s family in their thoughts and prayers,” Drury president Tim Cloyd said in a statement. “Our condolences are with Ariel’s family and with her teammates and coaches.”

In 2016, Xu won the NCAA Division II national title in the 50-meter freestyle with a time of 22.36 seconds, a program record. She was also part of two national record-setting relay teams during her sophomore season.

The school plans to hold a celebration of life for Xu, though the time and location has not yet been announced.

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