UofL's Worrell one swim closer to Rio - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

UofL's Worrell one swim closer to Rio

Follow Louisville's own Kelsi Worrell on her Road to Rio! Follow Louisville's own Kelsi Worrell on her Road to Rio!

OMAHA, NE (WAVE) - Kelsi Worrell is one step closer to Rio. 

After a sensational swim in Sunday's preliminaries, the University of Louisville swimmer won her semifinal heat of the 100-meter butterfly Sunday night at the U.S. Olympic Trials at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb. 

Worrell will swim in the 100-meter fly final between 8-9 p.m. Monday night, which can be seen on NBC and WAVE 3 News. If she finishes first or second in that race she will qualify for the U.S. Olympic team that will compete in Summer Games in Brazil in August. 

Worrell breezed through the preliminary stage of qualifying, finishing first in her heat and posting the fastest time overall - 56.84 seconds - during preliminary qualifying for the 100 butterfly.

"It felt really good. I was panicked at the beginning, I saw the 15-meter mark and I was like, 'Oh no!' but I gave it my all. I'm excited to talk to the coaches and see how I can improve for tonight and tomorrow," Worrell told WAVE 3 News reporter Connie Leonard afterward. "My parents were in the front row down at the end, so I got to say, 'Hi,' to them right as I was going to the blocks and I just felt really confident and calm stepping on the blocks, and having so many people from my team cheer me on was really special."  

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Kelsi's parents Erica and Bob were front row for the moment.

"Those moments when everyone is rooting for your child, it's surreal I don't know how to describe it," Erica Worrell said. "At the end she hugged me again (and) she was able to come back to our family and hug each of us and then I did start to cry." 

"It's just always fun to see Kelsi do well," Bob Worrell added. "I'm usually not nervous because when she goes all out all the time, if you read the blogs, a lot of people give her a hard time for going fast in prelims. But then she doesn't have to do anything different in the semifinals or finals so it's nice to see her healthy and swimming fast." 

Later Sunday night Worrell won her semi heat in 57.12 seconds, not far behind reigning Olympic gold medalist Dana Vollmer, who won the first heat in 56.90. 

Worrell, an NCAA champion and American record holder in the 100-yard fly, is among 34 members of the Louisville swim team competing at the trials.

Leonard will have full reports from Omaha on WAVE 3 News at 11 p.m.

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