(Courtesy UofL Athletics) University of Louisville swimmers Kelsi Worrell and Mallory Comerford combined to set an American record-setting gold medal swim in the 4x100 free relay at the first day of finals at the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest on Sunday.
"I am proud of the way that Mallory and Kelsi went about preparing to represent Team USA since the USA Trials. The results today were a consequence of that process with a healthy dose of red, white, and blue pride," said Arthur Albiero, UofL head coach and a member of the Team USA women's coaching staff. "This is a very special moment for me. for our coaching staff, and for our entire athletic organization at UofL. The fact that the were not superstars coming into our program, and now have developed into American Record holders, speaks volumes of the work we have all done to create a special environment for real improvement. We are in the business of helping people achiever crazy goals."
The American 4x100 freestyle relay swam to gold and an American record of 3:31.72. Mallory Comerford set the American Record in the 100 free with her 52.59 leadoff split, cutting more than a tenth off the former record of 52.70 set by Simone Manuel when she tied for Olympic gold in Rio last summer. It took a world record swim of 51.71 by Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom to beat Comerford in the first leg. Kelsi Worrell was next in the water and split 53.16 followed by Katie Ledecky’s split of 53.83. Anchor Simone Manuel held off the field with a final split of 52.14 for the gold.
In the semi-finals of the 100-fly, Sarah Sjostrom put up a 55.77 to lead a blazing fast event into tomorrow night’s finals. Kelsi Worrell qualified third with a time of 56.74, winning her heat. Australian Emma McKeon will be second seeded going into tomorrow’s final with her time of 56.23.