Five reasons to cheer for Kelsi Worrell in Rio

Kelsi Worrell (Samantha Stallings Photo)

Kelsi Worrell (Samantha Stallings Photo)

By SAMANTHA STALLINGS, Contributing Writer

The U.S. Olympic Swim team is set. There are 30 new faces on the Road to Rio with  the U.S. team.

Kelsi Worrell is one in particular you should pay attention to. She is a Mount Holly, New Jersey native and recently wrapped up her swimming career at UofL.  I had the pleasure of interviewing Kelsi a couple months ago before trials and she is one of the sweetest and most humble swimmers I have ever met.

Worrell qualified for the 100 fly beating previous gold medalist and world record holder Dana Vollmer. Worrell made the finals and semifinals in a couple other events in Omaha, but will be putting her focus on the 100 Fly in Rio. Worrell has the possibility of also swimming in a medley relay in Rio.  

Here are 5 reasons to cheer for first time Olympian Kelsi Worrell:

1. She is a team player

Coach Arthur Albiero says that’s were Kelsi thrives as a team player whether she is throwing up the Ls  or waving to people behind the blocks that’s when you can tell she is at her best and comfortable with her surroundings.

2.  She has experience being on Team USA before

Kelsi won the 100 Fly in the Pan Am games with a time of 56.48. Since then Kelsi has bested that time is the first women in history to swim the 100-yard butterfly in under 50 seconds.

3. She is a two-peat NCAA Champion in the 100 Fly

She won the 100 fly at the NCAAs in 2015 and in 2016. Kelsi this year won the Honda Sports Award for swimming and diving. The Honda Sports Award is given annually by The Collegiate Women Sports Awards.

“It’s just an incredible honor. They announced it to the team and I got emotional just thanking them.  Arthur read the list of the past recipients and I feel like I really don’t belong in that group. It means so much to me.

“My family is incredibly proud but a little disappointed there is no car that comes along with it. I am really thankful for Honda and for everything they do to support women and sports. The support we have now is just incredible.”

4. She is the first UofL swimmer to qualify for Team USA

While there are other UofL swimmers this year swimming in the Olympics, Kelsi is the first to make Team USA.

5. She has had an encounter with Mary T Meagher “Madame Butterly” herself

I got to meet Mary T. last summer and I was so honored,” said Worrell, “because, even now, her times are still incredible and she would be one of the top American swimmers in her events, so I really look up to her.”


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