Jack Conger Captures Gold at World University Games


The U.S. Swim Team won five medals tonight at the World University Games, pushing its total swimming medal count to 19. Jack Conger (Rockville, Md.) highlighted the night when he won the gold medal in the men’s 200-meter backstroke by more than a second at the Aquatics Palace. The pool competition concludes tomorrow in Kazan, Russia.

Conger finished the 200m back with a time of 1:55.47. He distanced himself from the field with a 28.91 split over the last 50 meters.

“This medal means the world to me,” said Conger. “I’ve done all the junior trips before, but to be able to win (gold) on the World University team and for my country is something special.”

Jacob Pebley (Corvallis, Ore.) led after the first 100m and finished the race with bronze. The 19-year-old reached the wall in 1:57.43.

Stephanie Peacock (Cape Coral, Fla.) and Ashley Steenvoorden (Minneapolis, Minn.) both medaled in the women’s 800m freestyle final. Peacock – who set a University Games record in the women’s 1,500m free on Saturday – finished second in the event with a time of 8:28.21. Steenvoorden completed the race in 8:29.79 to capture bronze. The winner was Italy’s Martina de Memme with a time of 8:28.09.

The final medal of the night came in the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay. The team of Michael Weiss (Reno, Nev.), Michael Wynalda (Ann Arbor, Mich.), Austin Surhoff (Cockeysville, Md.) and Matt Barber (Kingwood, Texas) finished in 7:13.58 and earned the silver medal. Russia won the event in 7:05.49.

In other day-six finals, Cindy Tran (Westminster, Calif.) finished fourth in the women’s 50m backstroke with a time of 28.45. Chelsea Chenault (Walnut Creek, Calif.) placed sixth (1:59.24) and Megan Romano (St. Petersburg, Fla.) finished seventh (2:00.67) in the women’s 200m freestyle. Michael Alexandrov (Champaign, Ill.) finished tied for fourth in the 50m breaststroke with a time of 27.84. Conger placed sixth in the men’s 100m butterfly with a time of 52.61.

The evening session featured four semifinal races. Derek Toomey (Minneapolis, Minn.) and Adam Small (Tempe, Ariz.) both reached the finals in the men’s 50m free. Toomey qualified with a time of 25.45, while Small’s time of 22.61 pushed him through.

In the women’s 50m breast, Laura Sogar (Exeter, R.I.) and Emily McClellan (Whitewater, Wis.) each advanced to the finals. Sogar finished in 31.69, followed by McClellan’s time of 31.87.  

Romano earned the third seed in the women’s 50m free final with her swim of 25.13 Liv Jensen (Palo Alto, Calif.) finished in 25.66, but missed the final.
Kelsey Floyd (Lexington, Ky.) swam the women’s 200m fly in 2:18.39, but missed the final.

Taking place every two years, the World University Games are an international, multi-sport event organized for university athletes by the International Sports Federation. Swimmers were selected to the 2013 World University Games Team roster based on their performance at the 2012 U.S. Open Championships and the 2013 Open Water National Championships.

The pool competition in Kazan, Russia, is set for July 10-16 followed by the open water competition scheduled for July 17. For more information on this year’s Games, visit http://kazan2013.ru/en

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