Kelsi Worrell Shines During Night One of SMU Classic

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The 22nd annual SMU Classic Invitational kicked off in Lewisburg, Texas with numerous meet records falling. The invitational features a unique format where each team is allowed to bring eight swimmers and one diver for competition. After night one Louisville is leading with a total of 184 points, while Missouri sits second with 151. UCLA (145), Florida State (136), SMU (124) and TCU (97) round out the competitors.

Kelsi Worrell, of Louisville, dazzled during night one of the SMU Classic with wins in three separate events. Worrell finished first in her signature event, the 100 fly, with a time of 51.51 to grab an NCAA A-cut, as well as placing first and setting a new meet record in the women’s 50 free with a 22.20.

Worrell split an impressive 50.87 in the fly leg of the 400-medley relay to help grab the Cardinals an automatic spot in the NCAA Championships for that event. Teammates Alina Kendzior (53.71, back), Andrea Cottrell (59.09, breast), and Andrea Kneppers (48.69, free) joined her to become the first team to hit an automatic relay qualifying bid this season.

It was an All-American studded final for the women’s 100-breastroke. Cottrell claimed the title with a time of 59.58, making her the only woman to ever swim under a minute in the 100 breaststroke in meet history, and earning her a meet record. All-Americans Abby Duncan (Missouri) and Tara-Lynn Nicholas (SMU) finished close behind.

FSU freshman Meg Brown turned in a quick time in the 400 IM finishing second overall with a 4:09.82, just shy of the school record of 4:09.64 set in 2014 Julia Henkel. Brown, Summer Finke (400 IM, 4:22.26) and Gracie Redding (100 fly, 55.32) all posted best times during night one and demonstrated the spunk of a younger athlete.

The Louisville women continued their success into the final event of the evening, finishing first and setting a new meet record of 7:10.14 in the 800 free relay. Kneppers (1:46.12) was joined by teammates Mallory Commerford (1:46.64), Abbie Hock (1:48.25) and Mara Pugh (1:49.39).

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