The former All-American grabbed the ledge to catch her breath with nothing more than a partial smile on her face after winning the gold medal in the 800-meter freestyle at the World University games in Gwangju, South Korea.
Despite hovering around third place for the first two minutes, Vrooman took the lead at the 200-meter mark and never gave it back to finish with a time of 8:26.67.
She defeated Italy’s Martina Caramignoli by less than two seconds. Vrooman’s time puts her in the top-10 in the world this year for the 800-meter.
The gold medal in the 800 was not all she accomplished, though. Vrooman also won silver medals in the 400-meter freestyle with a time of 4:07.28 and the 1,500-meter freestyle with 16:13.85. A seven-time Big Ten champion for IU, Vrooman’s three medal-winning times were all personal bests for her.
Vrooman was not the lone medalist for current or former IU swimmers. Freshman Lilly King won two medals herself, one of which was a silver medal in the 100-meter breaststroke. The other came as a part of the U.S. 400-meter medley relay team that earned a bronze medal. She swam the breaststroke leg of the relay. King also placed eighth in the 50-meter freestyle.
IU Coach Ray Looze was the head coach for the U.S. swimming team. Also, junior Anze Tavcar swam for Slovenia and recent graduate Justine Reiss competed for France.
The U.S. brought home 33 total medals at the World University Games, 15 of which were gold. This breaks the previous U.S. best of 27 total medals set in 2007.
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