Cole Worsley swims the 100-yard butterfly Friday during the opening day of the Class 4A State Swimming Championships in Loveland. Worsley qualified with second place for today's finals in the 100 butterfly and first place in the 50 freestyle. His time of 21.05 in the 50 free set a new Class 4A state record.

Photo by Luke Graham

Cole Worsley swims the 100-yard butterfly Friday during the opening day of the Class 4A State Swimming Championships in Loveland. Worsley qualified with second place for today's finals in the 100 butterfly and first place in the 50 freestyle. His time of 21.05 in the 50 free set a new Class 4A state record.

Worsley qualifies for events in today's finals

— The scary thing for most of his competitors is, Cole Worsley absolutely knows he can go faster.

The Steamboat Springs High School senior, who swims for Moffat County, made a loud splash Friday on the first day of the Class 4A State Swimming Championships, qualifying for today's finals in his individual events and setting a state record in the process.

Worsley qualified first in the 50-yard freestyle with a Class 4A state-record time of 21.05 seconds. Later, he qualified second in the 100 butterfly - an event he won last year - in 52.82 seconds.

"I think I do have an advantage going into (today)," Worsley said. "I know I can go faster, and these guys, these are all their fastest times."

Worsley also swam the 200 and 400 relays with teammates John Kirk, Chance Peterson and Charlie Griffiths. The team finished 19th in the 200 with a time of 1:39.11 and 22nd in the 400 with a time of 3:42.62. Those times - although season bests - weren't good enough to advance the team to today's semifinals or finals.

"They did great," Moffat County coach Patti Worsley said. "I'm excited for the boys. They swam their best times."

The story, however, was Worsley's dominance.

He came into the 50 freestyle ranked first with a time of 21.96. He swam in the last heat and watched five swimmers beat his season-best time.

"I was scared for a second," Worsley admitted. "Those guys going in all swam faster than I had all year. I was getting a little scared."

But the senior immediately dominated the first 25 yards and closed even faster.

In the 100 butterfly, Worsley came in ranked fifth. He took it relatively easy the first 50 yards before again closing strong. His time of 52.82 was just behind Lewis-Palmer freshman Ryan Arata's 52.48.

Although Worsley said he knows Arata probably will be faster today, he said he's positive he'll be faster.

"I'll have to drop at least a second," he said. "Probably more. But it's reasonable seeing how I've done a 49 before."

Worsley should be faster today considering he didn't swim Friday in his good suit and hadn't shaved his body yet.

He said the suit he'll wear today helps raise the muscles in the water and corrects technique.

Shaving gives him a psychological advantage, he said.

Either way, the quest for two individual titles still is very alive.

"I'm tapered for this. I've been feeling good," he said. "I think I'm pretty good right now. If I win it, I win it. If I don't, I'll be mad."

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