Can Kelsi Worrell Emerge as United States’ Answer to Its Butterfly Conundrum?

Kelsi Worrell had a big day for Team USA at the USA College Challenge - Courtesy of the University of Louisville

Kelsi Worrell had a superb showing at the NCAA Championships. If she can transfer that success to the long-course pool, the United States could find the answer to its void in the 100 butterfly.

Want to read more? Our Basic subscription package allows you to access
to all articles barring specific content for Premium and Business
members. Select which service best suits you. Thank you for your
support of independent journalism and quality coverage of world-class swimming.

Log In Register

Kelsi Worrell had a superb showing at the NCAA Championships. If she can transfer that success to the long-course pool, the United States could find the answer to its void in the 100 butterfly.



I believe she will be the answer to America’s fly woes, if not in individual swims at least in the Medley relay.

Even though many SCY speedsters have failed to convert their short course speed to LCM, at least these college swimmers have fantastic start and turn and they are all fantastic racers, skills honed through many many races in college swimming.

For example, Megan Romano is not so much impact on LCM, but on relays she is deadly, etc. And I see Worrell is a great racer.


John Lohn, Thank you for this excellent, fair-minded piece of sporting journalism, which I think you must know is appropriately timed, since Kelsi will be beginning her LCM season this week at the Arena PSS event in AZ. I think I speak for many US swimming fans when I wish her good luck!

Aswimfan, I wholeheartedly agree with your comment.


I’ll note that Worrell’s times from last summer were done while recovering from mono (aka glandular fever) and once more question USAS’ wisdom in selecting their 2015 teams so far out. I do not know if she is The Butterfly Answer this year, but she seems to be one of many swimmers who fell just shy of the WC team roster last year who are signaling that their long course form this year might be significantly improved.

So Cal Swimmer

I am thrilled for Kelsi’s drops in her times, but I am still hesitant. I remember back in 1983 when Tammy Thomas blasted to American records in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle races at NCAAs. She was touted as the next queen of the sprints long course. But. It. Never. Happened. Tami just could not transfer her short course yards successes to long course. I am hoping for Kelsi to jump the chasm from SC to LC, but will wait for the summer’s results.


kelsi worrell could improve,but i,m looking out for australia,s madeline groves.groves could overtake emma mckeon as australia,s top female 100 meters butterflyer.


if kelsi worrell can improve her LC times then australia will be weaker in the medley relay bcos australia is weaker than the USA in the breaststroke leg at the moment.the US has jessica hardy and breeja larson who can both go 1:06 while australia,s breaststrokers usually go 1:07 mid to low.but the thing is cate campbell is so fast that she can make up the deficit if it,s less than a second.she,s the only woman in history that has split a 50 off a relay start or was it a 51,i can,t remember.i think sarah sjostrom has also split a 51 of a relay start.denmark is strong in the medley relay but pernille blume is weak at freestyle compared to cate for sweden,their backstroke and breaststroke legs are weak and sarah sjostrom is the swedish national record holder in the 100 meters backstroke,butterfly and freestyle.she can,t swim the 3 legs.

My Opinion

It doesn’t matter how good Australia’s butterfly swimmer is…it doesn’t even matter how good their freestyle options are, with no breaststroker even on the horizon they will continue to struggle at the premiere world meets. Someone needs to step up in the next year before they can be a contender in rio.


i agree with you,australia needs a decent breaststroker but it depends on the deficit.cate campbell at her best can make up the deficit if it,s less than a australia needs a breaststroker who can swim fast enough so that the gap is not too much.


I agree with My Opinion, Australia ‘s breaststoker is 3 seconds off the WR, that is woefully slow and even Cate would not be able to make up the difference with USA.

Unless Australia’s female breaststrokers can swim 1:06 flat, they would not be able to win w4x100 medley.

And yes Cate is the only swimmer to have split 51 (at the commonwealth games). No other sprinter has done it.


i guess australia,s breaststrokers both male and female have to step up. australia,s male medley relay is weaker compared to the women.australia,s women are weak only on breaststroke while the men are weak on butterfly and breaststroke.


Ranomi Kromowidjojo & Britta Steffen have both split 51s – 51.99 for Steffen (2009) and 51.93 for Kromowidjojo (2012.


did they split 51 in a textile suit?


i read somewhere that cate campbell is the only female swimmer to split a 51 off a relay start in a textile suit. i,m not sure if the split was a 50 or 51.can,t remember.


i read somewhere that cate campbell is the only female swimmer to split a 51 off a relay start in a textile suit.


Britta was in the Jaked… Ranomi was the first in a textile suit, anchoring NED in the Olympic final.


Cate Campbell’s best is a 51.5 from Glasgow – She was pushed, too.. Fran Halsall chased her all the way with a 52.5!


thanks for the info.australia needs a good breaststroker if they wat to win the 4×100 medley relay.

Craig Lord

Dee, Britta was in an adidas suit made specifically for her…


Oh that’s interesting – I remember noticing the suit appeared different but I presumed it would have been Jaked, or possibly LZR.

Well, that Adidas suit worked wonders, didn’t it :/

Australian swim fan

I would suggest the U.S. has a similar problem with the Freestyle leg when compared to Sweden (depending who swims freestyle or butterfly leg), Denmark and Australia


Hhmm, depends how “Opinion” defines “contending” and “struggling”. Contending for gold or medal contenders ?

I certainly see the AUS 4XMED as struggling to contend for medals due to weaknesses on BRS but esp FLY.

The women ? Not sure they’ve been ‘struggling’ in major international meets. Silver in London & at 2013 Worlds; defeated USA at Pan Pacs doesn’t exactly read “struggling” or “non contenders”.

I honestly see this race as having no clear favourites. Lets go leg by leg (the times I’m using are their indiv so use yr own gauge for relay flying start adjustments).

Back: AUS & USA essentially line-ball. Seebohm has at times been slightly off in her relay swims but over the past 12 months seems to have it more together. DEN probably best of the rest. GBR & CHN are sub minute, others – wrong side of 1 min.

BRS: The current WR holder is at 1.04 but that is not pertinent to this event as LTU doesn’t have a relay. JPN – sub 1.06Pedersen (DEN), US (Larson/Lawrence/Hardy), Taylor (GBR) 1.06 low CHN 1.06 mid. McKeown has dropped to 1.07 flat; still leaving a gap to these other contenders but hardly the 3 seconds some are claiming !

FLY: Sjostrom(SWE), Otteson (DEN) & CHN are at 56mid then it’s a group at 57low which include McKeon (AUS). USA currently at 57high.

FS: C1 at 52mid has the best part of a second over the other anchor leg swimmers. Sjostrom would be on par but would most likely swim FLY as they have no alternate whereas Coleman is essentially on par with the likes of the USA (Franklin/Manuel), DEN (Blume), GBR (Halsall) in the 53mid range.

DEN actually has the most even squad but their quartet will also have to swim heats and finals and this comes at the end of the program. CHN looks competitive on almost all bar the FS anchor. USA is on the “lead pace” on the first 2 legs but currently off lead pace on the closing two. GBR is a shot at minor coin but O’Connor on fly is currently off the pace of all bar USA. AUS does have some concern on BRS but has to be seen as very strong medal contenders at worst.


Long Course is different you know. To see is to believe.


sweden needs at least 3 sarah sjostroms.she is their best swimmer on backstroke,butterfly and freestyle.she just broke the swedish record in the 100 meters backsrtoke recently.i think it was last week or two weeks ago,she is the first swedish woman to go sub 1 minute in the 100 meters backstroke.


her time was 59:98, swedish national record at the 100 meters backstroke,she swam it at the eindhoven swim cup last week.she said she just swam it for recovery and doesn,t train train backstroke which makes me wonder what kind of time she can come up with if she has special training for the backstroke.last year she put up a time of 4:06(which is also a swedish national record) in the 400 meters freestyle without trainining for it.

Leave a comment

Post a comment with your SwimVortex Account. Don't have a SwimVortex Account, Sign Up?

(*) Fields are required!