Performance of the Week: Kelsi Worrell Nearly Breaks 100 Fly Barrier

Photo Courtesy: Matthew DeMaria/Tennessee Athletics

ATLANTA – Kelsi Worrell has been the top contender for next month’s 100-yard butterfly title at the NCAA Division I championships since last year’s meet ended, and she continues to hold that distinction after two very impressive swims last week at the Atlantic Coast Conference championships.

Worrell didn’t hold back in prelims on Friday, posting a lifetime best 50.38 to become the third-fastest swimmer of all-time in the event. Taking her race out in finals two tenths faster was the catalyst for a 50.17 in the evening. That didn’t move her up the rankings, but it inched her closer to Natalie Coughlin’s American and NCAA record of 50.01, swum at the 2002 championships. Rachel Komisarz’s 50.10 from 2007 is still second-fastest.

Komisarz had been an assistant coach at Louisville for a few years, so Worrell likely got some very useful guidance from Komisarz, which will come in handy next month as Worrell takes another run at the American record.

Race Video: Kelsi Worrell 100 Butterfly at ACC Championships

As you can see in the video, Worrell was a bit long on her first and third turns, so she has something to work on in these next three weeks. She’ll need to be perfect not only on her turns, but on every aspect of the race. Coughlin swam almost perfectly in her American record swim, and we’ll see if Worrell can trump what many have believed to be one of the unbreakable women’s swimming records.

Before last week, Worrell’s best time was 50.91 from the USA Swimming nationals last December, and before that, it was 50.95. So, Worrell has made an eight-tenths drop in her lifetime best in one year, something that rarely happens at this level of the sport. It signals some good things for her as she gets ready for a possible spot on the U.S. Olympic team.

Congratulations to Kelsi Worrell for capturing the Performance of the Week!

1 Comment

1 comment

  1. avatar

    Amazing performance by Kelsi. Quick note though, unless she is going pro I don’t think she will be “closing out her collegiate career” next month at NCAAs as she is just a junior this year.

Author: Jeff Commings

Jeff Commings is the Senior Writer for and Swimming World Magazine. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism and was a nine-time NCAA All-American.

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