Steamboat grad Blake Worsley qualifies for Canadian Olympic swim team |

Steamboat grad Blake Worsley qualifies for Canadian Olympic swim team

Luke Graham

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.

— Blake Worsley called it a huge relief.

The Canadian-born swimmer and 2005 Steamboat Springs High School graduate talked last week about how nervous he would be about Tuesday's Canadian Olympic Trials.

But in the closest race of the night in Montreal, Worsley earned a nomination to Canada's 2012 Olympic team by reaching an Olympic Invitation Time.

Worsley posted a time of 1 minute, 49.06 seconds in the men’s 200-meter freestyle event.

Chad Bobrosky was second in 1:49.33, and Hassaan Abdel-Khalik was third in 1:49.59.

"It's a whole different range of emotions," Worsley said late Tuesday. "Swimming at the trials is an experience. I was surprised I was not as nervous. It's do or die. I just knew I had to get the hand on the wall to win."

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Although Worsley won, he's not a lock for the Olympics, though something drastic would have to happen for him to not make it. His time was a FINA B time. He still can guarantee a position by swimming a FINA A time in the 200, which is 1:47.82.

He'll try again Wednesday in the 800 relay. He'll also be able to reach it at any point leading up to the Olympics.

Still, Worsley was ecstatic Tuesday evening as he arrived back at his hotel at 10 p.m. local time.

Worsley was the top swimmer in the prelims Tuesday morning. He returned back to his hotel and tried to pass the time.

"I was trying not to think about it," he said. "You run over your race a couple times, eat some food and take a break from the pool. I came back and napped. I just really wanted to take my mind off of it and put it at ease."

It worked as Worsley led at every split Tuesday.

Now, he'll swim in the 800 relay Wednesday and then in the 100 on Friday.

"I would say it's excitement and relief," he said. "Relief of a lot of pressure and nerves. I'm excited to be qualified for the Olympics. I just appreciate all the love and good luck and congratulations everyone in Steamboat gave me."

Masters swim class 200 freestyle times

In honor of Blake Worsley swimming in the Canadian Olympic Trials on Tuesday and qualifying for the Olympics, the Old Town Hot Springs masters swim class swam 200 freestyles Tuesday to compare.

Here are the times.

Matt Stensland 2:19.68

Brad Craig 2:23.3

Amy Charity 2:23.8

Eric Strotbeck 2:35.4

Sandy Anfang 2:40.6

Julie Franklin 2:52.9

Suzi Jones 2:54.7

Eddie Rogers 2:58.13

Maggie Mitchell 3:40.9

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email

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