Steamboat Springs swimmer Blake Worsley won the 200-meter freestyle event in Tuesday's Canadian Olympic Trials. Worsley, a 2005 Steamboat Springs High School graduate, qualified for Canada's 2012 Olympic team by posting a time of 1 minute, 49.06 seconds.

Courtesy photo

Steamboat Springs swimmer Blake Worsley won the 200-meter freestyle event in Tuesday's Canadian Olympic Trials. Worsley, a 2005 Steamboat Springs High School graduate, qualified for Canada's 2012 Olympic team by posting a time of 1 minute, 49.06 seconds.

Steamboat's Blake Worsley prepares for Canadian Olympic Trials

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Feng Li / Courtesy

Blake Worsley swims at the World Championships last year. Worsley will compete at the Canadian Olympic Trials on Tuesday. He's currently ranked No. 1 in the 200-meter freestyle.

Cole Worsley impresses at University of Denver

Cole Worsley, a 2009 Steamboat Springs High School graduate, recently finished his junior year swimming at the University of Denver.

Worsley was part of the 400- and 800-meter freestyle relay teams that won at the Sun Belt Conference Championships. He also was part of the 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay that finished second.

As a team, the Pioneers won the Sun Belt Conference title for the second straight year.

— There is no telling how many times the moment has run through Blake Worsley’s head.

He steps to the blocks, shakes his arms and takes his position.

The gun goes off, he darts into the water and a short 200 meters later, he glances up and realizes his dream.

After years of training and a standout career at the University of Denver, that moment is finally here.

On Tuesday in Montreal, Worsley will try to qualify for the Canadian Olympic swim team that will compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

“I would have to say I’ve been nervous about how nervous I’ll probably be,” Worsley said Wednesday during a tapering down camp. “I’m going to be nervous. It does all ride on this moment and time. I just have to be mentally prepared to stand on the block. You acknowledge the fact it will come into your head, but you don’t dwell on it. I’ve been dealing with it the last six months.”

Worsley, a 2005 Steamboat Springs High School graduate, has dual citizenship in Canada after being born in Vancouver, British Columbia.

He also has a great chance to qualify Tuesday.

He currently sports the top time in the 200-meter freestyle. Should he finish first Tuesday or in the top two with a FINA qualifying time, he’ll make the Olympic team.

He also should make the 800-meter relay team.

“It’s been a strenuous last couple of months,” he said. “It’s something that’s always weighing on your mind.”

It’s been a torrid six months for Worsley. After taking a break during the summer, Worsley went to Canada to start training.

Prepping to compete at the highest level is no joke. It was like a full-time job for Worsley. His training schedule called for workouts five days per week. The workouts involved swimming twice per day and then lifting weights.

But it’s helped. Worsley said he had the best training block of his life.

“The underlying thing is he knows he has done the work,” Canadian Olympic coach Randy Bennett said. “Blake is going in as the hunted and not the hunter. He’s become one of the guys. The expectation to win is a way bigger hurdle than picking someone off. He has to stay calm and keep his head, but he’s done a good job with that.”

Bennett said Worsley still is a young swimmer considering his experience. He said he is excited to see what the future holds and thinks Worsley should have every opportunity to make the Olympics on Tuesday.

“He’s done the work and has a clear understanding of what he has to do,” Bennett said. “I think he’s going” to qualify.

So when Worsley steps to the blocks Tuesday, he said, he will be ready. He knows he has put in the work.

Now, he said, it’s all about performing.

“Honestly, it’s something I’ve been dreaming about for years,” he said. “I don’t like talking about it a lot because I don’t want to jinx it. But it’s definitely something that’s been on my mind for a long, long time. I’ve dreamt about it. I just hope it goes the way I’ve envisioned it.”

Worsley will swim the 200 prelims at 8 a.m. Tuesday. The finals will begin at about 5 p.m. To watch or for updates, visit www.swimtrials.ca.

Worsley also can be found on Twitter @blakeworsley.

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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