Kelsi Worrell Becomes First Woman Ever Under 50 Seconds in 100 Yard Fly

On Friday in prelims at the 2015 Women’s NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships, Louisville junior Kelsi Worrell broke the NCAA Record in the women’s 100 yard butterfly, swimming a 49.89 to take the top overall seed in prelims.

That broke the 50.01 done by superstar Natalie Coughlin in 2002, which was one of the legendary records in all of swimming. Worrell became the first woman ever under 50 seconds.

This record was one of the oldest left on the NCAA Record books. In 2002, Natalie Coughlin set the record in the 100 back on the same day as this 100 fly, and those two were the oldest marks on the books coming into this meet.

Comparative splits:

Worrell ’15 – 23.52/26.37 = 49.89
Coughlin ’02 – 23.40/26.61 = 50.01

Worrell didn’t really begin to pull away from the field until her third 25, but that’s where her underwaters (that have gone next-level this season) really showed up.

Coughlin’s record was the NCAA, American, and U.S. Open Record as the fastest swim in history at any level.

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6 years ago

And it couldn’t have happened to a nicer person….besides being a great swimmer she is a great person….Congrats Kelsi!!!!!

Reply to  Cardpoppa
6 years ago

Like how could you even know that–Kip from Napoleon Dynamite.

6 years ago

The splits you have listed for Coughlin add up to a 50.62…

Reply to  Paul
6 years ago

someone needs a math lesson

Reply to  falconflyer
6 years ago

The author changed it and didn’t acknowledge the change, hence why my post initially had a few upvotes.

6 years ago

S… M… A… S… H…


6 years ago

I’m pretty sure Worrell is a junior

6 years ago

Way to go Kelsi

6 years ago

Way to go Kelsi! Keep it up! Everyone from Storm and NRG are rooting for you.

6 years ago

I suppose there will be a day in the future when it’s more commonplace, but right now it looks really weird to have a 49 next to a woman’s name for the 100 fly!! I’m so old I can remember a Jill Sterkel being the first women under in freestyle, also a 49.8, and back then even that took awhile to seem real. These “milestone” records can sometimes be especially difficult to break because of the psychological barrier. Congrats to Worrell, her coaches and the Cardinals!!

bobo gigi
6 years ago

Ok. She didn’t wait for the finals. Usually I hate when swimmers swim at 100 % and break records in prelims and then swim much lower in finals but maybe that was a good idea here. Maybe without any pressure in prelims she swam more relaxed and also maybe she knew she would be more tired tonight. And we never know, perhaps that with the record broken and without that weight on her shoulders now, she can still surprise us again in final!

Anyway, in prelims or in finals, that’s a huge and historic accomplishment to break that antique and legendary record by Natalie Coughlin and to be the first woman ever to swim under 50 seconds.

Congrats to Kelsi… Read more »

bobo gigi
Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

in store

Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

She really just isn’t one for cruising prelims in anything lol

Louisville Fan
Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

Wait for tonight. My bet is she will do it again!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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