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Local Olympic Spotlight: New Jersey’s Kelsi Worrell Hoping to Fly to Gold For Team USA

Kelsi Worrell (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Kelsi Worrell (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)


West Hampton, New Jersey’s Kelsi Worrell is ready to break out of the Rio Olympics as one of swimming’s newest stars.

Worrell qualified for the Olympics when she won the 100m butterfly at the U.S. Olympic Trials. She finished a disappointing seventh in the 200m fly, and eight in the 100m freestyle, making the 100m fly her one individual event in Rio. However, with her times, she could participate in the medley relay as the butterfly leg.

Worrell, 22, is a premier butterfly specialist who also participates in the sprinting freestyle events. She took home gold in the 100m fly at the Pan-Am games, as well as NCAA titles in the 100m and 200m fly. On top of those, she also added a United States national title in 2015. At one point she did briefly hold the American record in her signature event.

Kelsi Worrell is the one of the favorites in the 100m fly in Rio, but she does have one stiff competitor. Sara Sjostrom of Sweden, the world record holder, is the only swimmer to have swam a faster time than Worrell in the event this year, and expects to be her toughest competition. Defending gold medalist and American teammate Dana Vollmer will also be back in the top of competition, as well as Xinyi Chen of China.

Even if she doesn’t win, it’s likely that Worrell will find her way on the podium. The world record isn’t out of reach for her, neither is the American record that she flirted with at the Trials, or the Olympic record. The relays haven’t been named yet, but if she is added to the medley relay, she will probably add another medal there as well. Expect her to make quite a bit of noise in Rio.

She graduated from Rancocas Valley High School in 2012, where she then went on to Louisville University. At Louisville, she majored in exercise science. She is the oldest of six siblings, and all of them are competitive swimmers.



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Dan is a Staff Writer here at with a focus on Team USA and the Rio Olympics
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