KAZAN, RUSSIA -- North Carolina senior Stephanie Peacock won the gold medal in the women's 1500-meter freestyle Saturday at the World University Games, setting a meet record in the process.

Peacock, a native of Cape Coral, Fla., led from start to finish to capture the gold medal in a World University Games record time of 16:04.44. The previous meet record was held by Flavia Rigamonti of Switzerland at 16:05.90.

"We are so excited for Stephanie and her USA teammate, Ashley Steenvoorden, swimming to first and second in the 1500-meter freestyle at the World University Games in Kazan, Russia," UNC head coach Rich DeSelm said. "Stephanie's training, coach Mac Kennedy's guidance at Swim Florida and the USA WUG coaches fine-tuning certainly helped to prepare her for this tremendous performance. Her WUG and UNC record-setting swim is such a confidence booster for Stephanie. Stephanie's 16:04.44 is an outstanding time and I know this gives her great confidence going into the remainder of the competition for her 400 and 800 freestyle events. Clearly, we are all proud of how Stephanie has fought back from her struggles this winter. This is a testament to what a great young lady she is."

In the process of winning, Peacock shattered her own University record in the event which she had set in Friday's preliminaries at 16:23.37. That time was seven seconds faster than her previous career best at 1500 meters. UNC's school record had been 16:29.04 by Whitney Sprague at the 2009 World University Games.

Steenvoorden was on Peacock’s hip the majority of the race and earned the silver medal with a time of 16:07.89. By the end of the night, the U.S. total swimming medal count climbed to 13.

“I’m really happy we finished 1-2,” Peacock said. “It was really cool to share that moment with her, and I could not be more proud of how we did [Saturday night].”

wugusa.com contributed to this report.