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CAREER HONORS - All-American - 200 Butterfly (2008); Honorable Mention All-American - 400 medley relay, 800 medley relay (2008); ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District 2 second team (2008); Big Ten record holder in 200 fly (2008); Honorable Mention All-American - 800 Freestyle Relay (2007); Two-time Second Team All-Big Ten (2006, 2008); Honorable Mention All-American - 400 IM, 200 Butterfly, 800 Freestyle Relay (2006)
Summer 2008: Kelly qualified for the semi-finals in the 200-meter butterfly at the U.S. Olympic Trials. She eventually earned 16th place. She swam to a 33rd-place finish in the 100 meter butterfly and a 53rd-place mark in the 200 meter freestyle at Olympic Trials.
2007-08: Kelly had an outstanding season in 2007-08, as she won her first All-American and added two more Honorable Mention All-Americans to her impressive resume. She was one of three Penn State athletes elected to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District 2 Second Team. Kelly became an All-American with a six-place finish at NCAAs in the 200 fly, shattering her own school record. She was named an Honorable Mention All-American in the 400 medley and 800 free relays after taking 16th in both events. She was close to adding a third honorable mention, finishing 19th in the 200 medley relay. At NCAAs, Kelly also placed 20th in the 200 free and 27th in the 500 free. She broke the school record for the 200 free and 200 fly at the Big Ten Championships. She had two second-place finishes in both events. Kelly tagged third in the 500 free. Her relay teams also proved successful. Her 800 free relay team ended in fourth, and the 200 medley and 400 free relays both took sixth. Kelly was named Big Ten Women's Swimmer of the Week after winning all but one race in two events against West Chester and Rutgers. For the year, the junior swimmer won more than 40 percent of the races she participated in. She held the fastest time in four individual events and four relays. Meet-by-Meet Highlights: Kelly won five of six races against West Chester and Rutgers....Was victorious three times in a quad meet at Pittsburgh....Had a ten-second victory in the 1000 free at Florida-Gulf Coast.... Claimed the 400 IM at Hoosier-land....Owned the best performance both times she swam in the 100 fly, against West Virginia and Virgin-ia/Purdue/Michigan State.
Summer 2007: Kelly competed in three meets on the summer circuit and kept quite busy in all three of them. At the Grand Prix series Charlotte Ultraswim, she swam in eight events and qualified for the finals in all six of her individual events while also finishing in third place as a part of the 400 freestyle and medley relay teams. She placed 23rd in the 100 free, 20th in the 200 free, 13th in the 400 free, sixth in the 200 fly and 14th in the 200 and 400 IM. She also had a strong meet at the Mid-Atlantic Senior Championships, qualifying for the finals in all five individual events and also setting meet records as a part of both the 400 medley and 800 free relay teams. At Mid-Atlantic's she also finished third in the 200 free, fourth in the 100 fly, second in the 200 fly, fifth in the 200 IM and seventh in the 400 IM. Finally, at U.S. Nationals, she swam in the 100 and 200 fly and 200 and 400 IM and 200 free. She earned an Olympic trial cut in the 200 free and 100 fly, adding to her previous cut in the 200 fly.
2006-07: Kelly capped off her sophomore season by making her second career appearance at NCAA Championships after a season in which she swam to a team-high 10 NCAA qualifying times, including nine NCAA `B' cuts and one NCAA `A' automatic qualifying time. She swam in the 500 freestyle, 400 IM, 200 butterfly and on the 400 medley and 800 freestyle relay teams at NCAAs and earned honorable mention All-American status for the second straight year with a 14th place finish as part of the 800 free relay team. She also just missed out on scoring in the 400 IM, finishing 17th. At Big Ten Championships, she showcased her versatility, swimming in six events, including three individual events and three relays and scoring points in all six events. She placed third in the 200 free, sixth in the 200 fly, 11th in the 200 IM, and was on the third-place 800 free relay, the third place 200 medley and the fourth place 400 medley relay teams. Kelly had a remarkable 13 first place finishes on the year, five in individual events and eight in relays, in addition to eight second place finishes and 10 third places. Equally as remarkable, she swam at least an NCAA `B' time in nine out of her 10 swims of the year in the 200 fly and also swam `B' times in all four of her swims of the year in the 200 free, which she holds the school record in. She earned Big Ten Women's Swimmer of the Week recognition twice during the season and had the fastest time of the year on the team in the 200 free, the fourth fastest in the 100 free, the second fastest in the 100 and 200 fly and the 400 IM, and the third fastest in the 200 IM. Additionally, she swam her career fastest times in the 500 free, 200 fly and 400 IM during the seas-on.Meet-by-Meet Highlights: Placed third in the 200 fly, sixth in the 50 free in her only appearance in that event on the year, and was on the third place 400 medley relay team at the season-opening meet at West Virginia....Came in second in the 100 fly, third in the 200 fly, sixth in the 200 IM and was on the second place 400 free relay team and the winning 200 and 400 medley relay teams at the Clemson/Virginia/Virginia Tech/Penn State quad-meet....Won the 200 fly, finished second in the 200 IM and placed seventh in the 100 back at the Big Cat Invitational....Picked up points for the Nittany Lions in the 100 fly (6th place, 5th in the prelims), 200 fly (3rd place, 2nd in the prelims), 400 IM (7th place) and as a member of the 400 free relay (6th place) and 400 medley relay (7th place) teams at the Bell Grand Prix....Won the 500 free in an NCAA `B' cut in her first swim of the year in that event in the dual meet vs. West Chester....Won the 500 free and was part of the first place 200 free relay team and the 200 medley relay team that tied for first place in the dual meet vs. Ohio State....Finished third in both the 100 and 200 fly and was on the second place 200 medley and first place 400 free relay teams at the dual meet vs. Rutgers.
2005-06: Kelly was one of four freshmen to qualify for the NCAA Championships and one of 12 swimmers overall. She mainly swam in short distance freestyle events as well as both the 100 and 200 butterfly and 200 and 400 IM throughout the year while also seeing quite a bit of action on relay teams. She swam her best times of the year in three of her four main events, the 200 butterfly and 200 and 400 IM, at Big Ten's. She was a second team All-Big Ten selection after finishing fourth in the 200 butterfly and third in both the 200 and 400 IM at the Big Ten Championships. At Big Ten's, she also swam in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays and on the second place 800 free relay team. At the NCAA Championships, she competed in the 200 butterfly and 200 and 400 IMs, as well as the 800 free relay, with her best finish being 11th in the 400 IM, earning her honorable mention All-American honors. She also placed 12th in the 200 butterfly. For the year, she was a part of two first place relay teams and also won two individual events.
High School: Kelly was a three-time Pennsylvania State Champion in the 100-yard fly, claiming the crown in 2002, 2003 and 2005. She also won the 500-yard free state crown as a senior, in a Pennsylvania AAA_State all-time record time of 4:49.54. She swam for West Chester East High School with head coach Danny Reichert. She also swam for the Suburban Swim Center club team under coach Charlie Kennedy.
Personal: Kelly is the daughter of William and Mary Nelson. She has two older sisters, Kristin and Kathleen. Her oldest sister, Kristin, graduated from and swam at Penn State. Nelson lists scrapbooking as her favorite hobby. She was a 2004-05 NISCA Academic All-American, with a cumulative GPA of 4.2.
Why I Chose Penn State: "The reason I chose Penn State was due to its academics and athletics. I felt there was a balance between the two and that I would have the chance to excel at both. Also, it is just far enough away from home to still be close!"
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