Driving down Floyd Street, near the intersection with Warnock, the University of Louisville’s natatorium is not easily missed. While most people are questioning, “What is a natatorium?” right now, I would be willing to bet that they have all seen the sign boasting the accomplishments of UofL’s Olympic swimmers and coaches.
The swim team continued its dynasty of success late last week, with senior Kelsi Worrell setting both World and American Records in Indianapolis, during the first night of competition at “Duel in the Pool.”
A statement from the university explains:
University of Louisville senior Kelsi Worrell set both a World and American record in her first night of competition at Duel in the Pool in Indianapolis.
The American 400-Medley Relay team of Courtney Bartholomew (56.08), Katie Meili (1:02.88), Kelsi Worrell (55.01), Simone Manuel (51.23) combined for a World Record time of 3:45.20. Manuel had to hold off a charging Ranomi Kromowidjojo to clinch the Americans’ team win with her anchor leg. Europe finished in 3:45.46.
In the 100-fly, Worrell may have touched the wall second but she set an American record in the process. Danish sprinter Jeanette Ottesen, won with an blazing 55.10, shaving .2 off her previous best. Worrell’s time of 55.42 set a new American Record, besting the former mark of 55.59 set by Dana Vollmer. Worrell’s splits were 25.95/29.47, outsplitting Ottesen (25.44/29.66) down the stretch.
This year marks the seventh Mutual of Omaha Duel in the Pool, held every other year since 2003. The U.S. is undefeated and holds a 6-0 all-time record in the competition.The 2013 event came down to a tie breaking mixed 4 x 50m medley relay, won by the United States to claim the overall meet victory and preserve its undefeated 6-0 streak since Duel in the Pool started in 2003.
The Ryder Cup-style event is a 25m short course dual meet held over two days with no prelims or semis – only finals. There are 15 events for men and 15 for women, where athletes can score five points for first place, three points for second and one point for third place. Seven points are awarded to winning relays. The first team to reach 131.5 points wins.
Action resumes Saturday’s at 2 p.m. ET.
NBC will air coverage of the meet Dec. 19 from 4-6 p.m. ET.
Worrell comes to UofL from New Jersey (can I hear it for seniors from the northeast?), where she was a multi-event state champion, All-American, and even qualified for the Olympic trials. Since coming to Louisville, she has continued to be a force to be reckoned with in the water. As a freshman, Worrell set a Big East record in the 100-butterfly and was named All-American. Her sophomore year brought a runner-up title for 100-butterfly in the NCAA championships, as well as numerous other awards and recognitions.
Kelsi Worrell’s junior year was a huge breakout for her, as she brought home the titles of: NCAA Champion in the 100-fly (which also set an American and an NCAA Record); NCAA Champion in 20-butterfly, ACC Swimmer of the Year; gold at USA Nationals in 100M fly; and was named to the USA National Team – just to name a few of her accomplishments.
Clearly this girl has no plans of slowing down, and who could blame her? In a collegiate sports world dominated by mens’ basketball and football, it is awesome to see some major girl power – especially when it comes from Louisville. Who knows, maybe Kelsi’s face will be the next one added to the poster on the side of the Ralph Wright Natatorium.