Kate Douglass is a 2021 Olympic Medalist and Multiple NCAA Champion in competitive swimming who represents the United States internationally. Douglass made headlines during her freshman year when she put up speedy times throughout the season in dual meets, her mid-season meet, and even at practice.
Kate Douglass was ranked as the #2 recruit in SwimSwam’s 2019 Top 20 High School Rankings. On February 27, 2018, Douglass announced her verbal commitment to swim for the University of Virginia.
A 2018-19 U.S. National Junior Team member, Douglass competed at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Argentina and the 2017 Junior World Championships in Indianapolis. As an age grouper, she set the U.S. Swimming National 13-14 and 15-16 Age Group Record for the 50 free. Douglass held the New York high school state records in the 50 and 100 freestyle, and qualified for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trails in the 50 free, 100 and 200 breast, and 200 IM.
As a freshman, Douglass made headlines left and right. She showed her extreme range early in the dual meet season, where she joined an exclusive group by going 22 in the 50 free and 2:07 in the 200 breast. She impressed further at her mid-season meet, the Tennessee Invite, when she went lifetime bests in the 50 free (21.53), 100 free (47.85), 100 breast (59.53), 200 breast (2:06.19), 100 fly (50.30), and 200 IM (1:52.84).
At the ACC Championships, Douglass started things off in the 200 IM, where she took her 1st ACC title in a 1:51.36, becoming the fastest freshman in the event all-time. She went on to win the 100 fly (50.83) and take 3rd in the 200 breast (2:05.89). She was also on UVA’s winning 200 medley relay, 200 free relay, 400 free relay, and 2nd place 400 medley relay.
Douglass continued to improve drastically her sophomore year, flexing her range yet again. At her second ACC Championships, she started things off by anchoring UVA’s 200 medley relay to an NCAA record of 1:32.93 and ACC title. She kept things rolling in her individuals, taking 2nd (1:51.97) in the 200 IM behind her teammate, Alex Walsh, and winning the 100 fly (49.96) and 100 free (46.83). She also swam on UVA’s winning 400 medley relay, 200 free relay, and 400 free relay.
At the 2021 NCAAs, the story coming in was Maggie MacNeil would face Kate Douglass for 3 rounds: 50 free, 100 fly, and 100 free. Douglass took the first round, winning the 50 free in 21.13 over MacNeil’s 21.17. Round 2 went to MacNeil, as she won the 100 fly in a new NCAA and US Open record of 48.89 to Douglass’ 49.55 2nd place finish. Douglass would take 2nd again to MacNeil in the 100 free, touching at 46.30 to MacNeil’s 46.02. Douglass also swam on UVA’s 2nd place 200 & 400 free and medley relays. Despite getting so many 2nd places throughout the 3.5 day meet, Douglass left a national champion as UVA went on to win the team title, the first in the women’s program’s history.
Douglass ascended even further her Jr season at UVA after a summer that saw her win an Olympic bronze medal. At the ACC Championships, she kicked things off by helping UVA break an NCAA, US Open and American record in the 200 free relay (1:24.47), leading off in 21.10. She went on to win the 50 free in a Conference record 21.00 before helping UVA to another NCAA, US Open, and American record in the 200 medley relay, splitting 20.54 on the anchor leg. On night 3, she won the 100 fly in a Meet record 49.86 and kept the momentum rolling as UVA broke its 3rd NCAA, US Open, and American record in the 400 medley relay, with Douglass splitting 46.25 on the anchor leg. On the last night of competition, Douglass took the 100 free title in 46.81, just .05 ahead of her UVA teammate Gretchen Walsh. Douglass finished off her event schedule that night by leading off the 400 free relay in 47.02, which went on to win in a Conference record of 3:08.22.
At the NCAA Championships, Douglass once again made a clean sweep of her events, but not in all the same events. After an NCAA record of 20.87 in the 50 free prelims, she came back at night to take the event in 20.84, lowering the record further. In the 100 fly, she broke an American record in the final by winning in 49.04. She got her 3rd American record (and 2nd NCAA and US Open record) of the weekend by winning the 200 breast, registering a time of 2:02.19. Douglass kept her perfect record on the relays as well, helping UVA to titles in the 200 medley (1:32.16), 200 free (1:24.96), 400 medley (3:22.34, New NCAA, US Open, and American record), and 400 free (3:06.91, New NCAA, US Open, and American record) relays.
2021 Olympic Trials
In Omaha, Kate Douglass qualified for her first Olympic Games in the 200 IM, touching 2nd in 2:09.32, just .02 behind her UVA teammate Alex Walsh. Douglass also went PB’s in the 100 fly (56.56, 3rd) and 100 free (54.14 in semi-finals, 7th with 54.17), and placed 6th in the 50 free (24.78).
2020 Olympic Games
Douglass started off her first Olympic Games strong in the prelims of the 200 IM, posting a lifetime best of 2:09.16 to claim the first seed headed into semi-finals. In the final, Douglass came from behind in the final 50, passing much of the field to touch for 3rd behind Japan’s Yui Ohashi and her UVA and USA teammate, Alex Walsh.
2021 Short Course World Championships (Abu Dhabi, UAE)
Douglass continued her successful international year in 2021 in the UAE, earning another 200 IM bronze, this time in scm. She also helped the US women to golds in the 200 and 400 free relays and swam in the prelims of the 200 medley and mixed 200 medley relays that would go on to earn silver.
2022 World Championship Trials
On night 1 in Greensboro, Douglass qualified for her first lcm world champs team, placing 5th in the 100 free. on Night 2, she made her first individual, placing 2nd in the 200 breast (2:21.43) in a huge PB, touching only behind Lilly King.
2022 World Championships
Douglass started her meet in the first session, swimming heats of the 4×100 free relay, leading off in 54.19 to help USA get into the final. They went on to finish 3rd in the final, netting Douglass a bronze medal.
Douglass was back in the pool on day 5, swimming in the prelims and semis of the 200 breast and making the final. On day 6 in that final, Douglass swam a strong race and once again earned herself a bronze medal, finishing 3rd in 2:23.20.