How did Lily Ernst die? What happened to Lily Ernst?

Lily Ernst, a swimmer for the Institution of Northern Iowa and a graduate of Iowa City West High School, passed away on Wednesday, the university said in a school announcement on Thursday morning.

“With the unexpected passing of Lily Ernst, the Panther family at UNI has lost a cherished member,” the director of athletics at UNI, David Harris, stated in a press release issued by the school. “Our swimming and diving team, as well as the rest of our athletic department and the whole University of Northern Iowa campus, are devastated by this loss. Our hearts go out to Lily’s family, her teammates, and all of her friends. Please accept our sincere sympathies.”

The university did not make any statement regarding the death’s cause.

This past winter, Ernst competed in her final game in her sophomore season with the Panthers. She finished in second place in the 200-yard butterfly at the Missouri Valley Conference Championships when she was a freshman, which earned her a spot on the first team of all-Missouri Valley Conference swimmers.

As a sophomore, the former standout from Iowa City West won recognized as a member of the MVC scholar-athlete team. At the same time, he established a new record for the school in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:02.97.

Statement by Lily Ernst’s coach

“Our team is tremendously grieved by the loss of Lily,” said Nick Lakin, who is the coach for the swimming and diving team for the Panthers. “The world was a better place because Lily was always looking out for the welfare of others. She was a fierce competition in the pool and in the classroom, but those who knew her well said that she had a huge heart and cared profoundly about everyone in her life. She was a fierce competitor in the pool and in the classroom. We will all miss her terribly, and our prayers are with those who were fortunate enough to call her friend.”

Throughout all four years of high school, Ernst competed for Iowa City West and qualified for the state meet in numerous events. Her third-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly competition as a sophomore in 2017 was her greatest performance to date. As a junior and as a senior, Ernst participated in the 400-yard freestyle relay for the Trojans, where the team finished in second place both years.

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