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.”
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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.