On Friday, Arizona Athletics announced that former swimming standout Ty Wells, 23, passed away. No cause of death has been disclosed, according to the Arizona Daily Star.
“On behalf of the entire University of Arizona community, I want to extend our heartfelt condolences to the Wells family along with Ty’s friends, teammates, classmates and colleagues,” UA athletic director Dave Heeke said in a statement on Monday. “Ty was a tremendous young man who proudly represented the University of Arizona in the pool, classroom and community. He was a light that shined bright in the lives of everyone he came across, and we will keep him and his loved ones in our thoughts during this incredibly difficult time.”
Outlet SwimSwam reported that “Several people close to the program [said] that rumors circulating that the death was caused by a motorcycle accident are untrue, and that the Arizona medical examiner is still working to determine the cause of death.”
Wells was a 2021-22 CSCAA Scholar All-American who specialized in breaststroke. During his senior year, in spring 2022, he swam his fastest as well as the team fastest, 50 yards at the Pac-12 Championships, finishing in 24.63 seconds. He finished 12th in the 100-yard breast in 53.08 seconds and posted NCAA B cut times in all four years.
The Arizona Desert Swarm reported that those times were personal bests for Wells.
“During the 2022 Pac-12 Championships he set personal bests in the 50-, 100- and 200-meter breast, and last June competed in the USA Olympic Team Trials in Omaha for the 2022 Tokyo Games,” they reported.
Wells’ final competition was the 2022 US Open Championships from Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in Charlotte where he finished in 50th in both 100 and 200 breast. He was still listed on the University of Arizona roster as a fifth-year athlete.
In a GoFundMe appeal, Ian Ingram, who created the fundraiser on behalf of Sandra Wells, wrote, “Our Arizona Wildcat swimming family was devastated at the sudden passing of one of our most adored swimmers this past Friday.
“He was a guiding light to all of his friends and teammates as well as to all of us parents. He brought out the best in all of us and cared so deeply for all of his friends. His spirit was contagious, his smile lit up a room and he was a big brother to so many.
“He was an incredible young man who left his mark on all of us. He will be remembered by all of us with love in our hearts, FOREVER!! We are all better for knowing this beautiful young man.”
The GoFundMe created for the Wells family has already passed its goal of $25,000, garnering over $57,000 at time of publishing.
Ty is survived by his parents, Joseph and Sandra, and his sister Jessica.
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