Kate Douglass

View Current photo via courtesy of Jack Spitser

Kate Douglass is a 2021 Olympic Medalist, World Champion, and Multiple NCAA Champion in competitive swimming who represents the United States internationally.

She finished her college career at Virginia as a 28x NCAA All-American.

High School

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.

College (Virginia)

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.


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.


Douglass kept her momentum rolling into her senior season at UVA. In a three-person suited time trial at the 2023 Cavalier Invite, Kate Douglass broke the US Open and American record in the 200 breast for the third time in her career, going a 2:01.43. Prior to that, the record was 2:01.87, a time that Douglass swam this season at the 2022 Tennessee Invite.

At the ACC championships, Douglass once again made it a clean sweep as she went undefeated in individual and relay events. She helped the UVA women break NCAA and US Open records in the 200 medley (1:31.73, 20.49 free), 200 free (1:23.87, 20.95 lead-off), 400 medley (3:21.80, 48.25 fly split, fastest all-time), and 400 free (3:06.83, 46.35 split) relays. Individually, she won the 200 IM (1:50.14, #2 performer all-time), 100 fly (48.84, NCAA record) and 100 free (45.86, #3 performer all-time).

Going into her last NCAA Championships, there was a lot of expectation on Douglass. And she blew it out of the water. On night 1, she helped UVA to a title and NCAA record in the 200 medley relay (1:31.51), anchoring in 20.34. On Night 2, she started things with a dominant performance in the 200 IM, breaking her teammate Alex Walsh’s NCAA record in the event by nearly 2 seconds and clocking a 1:48.37. She then led off UVA’s 200 free relay in 21.01 to help them secure another title.

Night 3 led to another NCAA record for Douglass, this time in the 100 fly, where she touched at 48.46, just .05 ahead of LSU’s MAggie MacNeil, marking the fastest 2 performances ever in the event. She split 48.94 on UVA’s relay later that night to help them win the 400 medley relay title. On the final night, Douglass won the 200 breast in a new NCAA record of 2:01.29 before UVA crush their own 400 free relay NCAA record inn 3:05.84, leading off in 46.37.

National/International Competition

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.

2022 Short Course World Championships

Douglass had her best international showing in Melbourne yet, walking away with 5 gold and 2 silver. Individually, she won the 200 breast (2:15.77, championship record) and 200 IM (2:02.12, American record). She also helped USA to gold in the 4×50 free, 4×100 medley, and mixed 4×50 medley relays, while earning silver as a part of USA’s 4×50 medley and 4×100 free relays.

2023 U.S. International Team Trials (Indianapolis, Indiana)

After one of the greatest NCAA meets of all time, there remained some who questioned her long-course ability. She dispelled all questions on the 1st morning of Trials. Douglass had a fantastic morning swim in the 100 free, posting 52.98 to drop more than a second off her lifetime best and become just the 27th woman under 53 seconds in the event. The swim puts her in the conversation for more than just a relay spot on the Worlds roster as she faces off against an on-form Abbey Weitzeil right next to her in the center lanes. In the final, Douglass found a new level with a stunning 52.57 100. She stormed past the field on her back half to take the title and qualify individually for Fukuoka. The swim makes her the 9th fastest in history.

In the 200 breast the next day, she crushed the prelims field with a 2:23.87 for the top seed. In the final, Lily King blew away the field in the first 50 but Douglass reeled her in to only .27 seconds at the finish with a personal best of 2:21.22 for 2nd. The swim was the 4th fastest in the world.

Douglass finished 3rd in the 100 fly with a PB of 56.43 behind Gretchen Walsh and Torri Huske

Douglass took on the 200 IM/50 free double on day 5. She made the A finals of both with a personal best of 2:08.29 and a 24.57 respectively. The IM time made her the 3rd fastest American ever. In the finals, Douglass broke the US Open Record previously held by Alex Walsh (who finished 2nd in the race with a speedy 2:07.89) as Douglass swam a 2:07.09 in the 200 IM to win the event. Douglass now becomes the second fastest American all-time in the event and the sixth fastest performer in the world ever. She wrapped up her double with a slightly faster than prelims 24.48 in the 50 free to tie for 3rd with Olivia Smoliga.

2023 World Aquatics Championships (Fukuoka, Japan)

Douglass opened her meet by leading the 200 IM prelims with a 2:09.17. She laid off it in semis with a 2:10.38 as she had the 400 free relay final later in the session. On that relay, she crushed a 52.28 anchor to pass China for the silver. In the 200 IM final the next night, Douglass was just off her best time with a 2:07.17 to take the gold. Ash she has been known to do, she stormed home over the back half with the fastest breast (36.17) and free (29.83) splits in the field.

On the 400 free relay, Douglass anchored in 52.28 to help the American team earn a sliver, 3.97 seconds back from the Aussies. On the mixed 400 medley, she anchored in 51.79, the 2nd fastest female anchor, for bronze. The 51.79 represents the fastest relay split an American has ever produced, undercutting Simone Manuel’s 51.86 form 2019 Worlds.

In one of the stranger doubles possible, Douglass took on all three rounds of the 100 free and 200 breast in the same session. In the prelims, she did just enough in the 100 free with a 54.41 for 11th and turned around to a 2:25.50 for 9th in the 200 breast. That night, she had a bit more time between with 2 events between the 100 free and 200 breast. In the former, she was barely ion with a 53.38 for 6th while in the latter, she was 2:21.99 for 3rd. In the day 6 finals, Douglass nearly pulled off a double medal haul but she was 52.81 for 4th in the 100 free, just .1 off the podium. In the 200 breast final, she got bronze in 2:21.99. Both times were off her PBs.

Douglass kept up her relay duties with a 52.42 anchor to help the US get silver in the mixed 400 free relay. She later anchored the 400 medley relay in 52.41 and helped them claim gold. Douglass ended the meet with a stunning 6 medals, tied for the most medals (regrdless of color) with Mollie O’Callaghan and 8th in traditional medal rankings.

2023 U.S. Open Championships

Even with a solid field boasting Alex Walsh, Torri Huske, Anastasia Gorbenko, Mary-Sophie Harvey and Regan Smith, Douglas dominated the 200 IM. She cleared the field by over a second with a 2:10.03 in prelims. In the final, Douglass won by half a second over Walsh after taking over on breast. Then, with just 3 heats of the men’s 200 IM and 2 heats of the women’s 50 free as rest, Douglass stepped up and fired off a new 50 free PB, winning in 24.38. Both swims represented championship records. 

Douglass avoided another double, scratching the 100 fly in favor of the 100 breast the next day. In the latter, she took 4th place with a 1:07.37. She concluded her meet with the 200 breast, where she beat Lilly King for the win by over 2 seconds with a 2:21.87, downing her 3rd meet record of the week.

2024 Pro Swim Series–Knoxville

On her first day of racing, Douglass took on the 100 free and 100 breast, moving through prelims at 54.14 and 1:07.31 respectively. In the 100 final, Douglass tied Sarah Sjostrom’s PSS record of 53.12. In the 100 breast, Douglass put up a new PB, posting a 1:06.67 for 4th. 

On her second day, Douglass scratched the 100 fly but time trialed the 200 IM, posting a blistering 2:07.89. Douglass went after it, turning in a 26.66, .3 seconds under her PB pace. She was still under that pace at the 100 but a weaker showing on the back half saw her finish .80 seconds off her best time. This swim put her at #3 in the world rankings. 

On her 3rd day, Douglass scratched the 200 IM, a decision that allowed her to focus on the 200 breast. That turned out well as Douglass lowered her lifetime best by nearly two seconds while also breaking Rebecca Soni‘s American and U.S. Open records from more than a decade ago. Soni owned the previous American standard at 2:19.59 from 2012 along with the U.S. Open record at 2:20.38 from 2009. Douglass followed up her opening split of 32.01 with 35.04/35.92/36.33 splits, getting under Soni’s mark by .29 seconds. Douglass also took down the Pro Swim Series record of 2:20.77 that Annie Lazor set in 2019. Before this swim, Douglass ranked 55th on the all-time performance list and 15th on the all-time performer list. Now, she has rocketed up to 5th and 4th in those respective rankings.

2024 World Aquatics Championships (Doha, Qatar)

Douglass was announced as a member of the 18-athlete roster for the 2024 World Aquatics Championships in Doha, Qatar. The team included just 5 women and 13 men, as was expected from USA Swimming’s updated selection procedure for the ad hoc World Championship event. As could be expected from such a versatile athlete, Douglass was selected for the 50/100 free, 200 breast, 50 fly and 200 IM, setting her up for a full schedule. “In years past I’ve done ACCs and NCAAs around that time of year anyway so it’s kind of nice to stick to what I know and do a big meet,” said Douglass of her decision. “It would be good to get up and practice racing a bunch of events: prelims, semis, finals, just kind of do it all”

International Medals

Place Event Year Meet
Bronze 200 I.M. 2020 Olympic Games
Bronze 200 Breast 2022 World Championships
Bronze 400 Freestyle Relay 2022 World Championships
Bronze 400 Mixed Free Relay 2022 World Championships
Gold 400 Medley Relay 2023 World Championships
Gold 200 I.M. 2023 World Championships
Silver 200 Breast 2023 World Championships
Silver 400 Freestyle Relay 2023 World Championships
Silver 400 Mixed Free Relay 2023 World Championships
Bronze 400 Mixed Medley Relay 2023 World Championships
Silver 400 Freestyle Relay 2023 World Championships
Gold 200 Freestyle Relay 2021 Short Course World Championships
Gold 400 Freestyle Relay 2021 Short Course World Championships
Silver 200 Medley Relay 2021 Short Course World Championships
Silver 200 Mixed Medley Relay 2021 Short Course World Championships
Bronze 200 I.M. 2021 Short Course World Championships
Gold 200 Breast 2022 Short Course World Championships
Gold 200 I.M. 2022 Short Course World Championships
Gold 200 Freestyle Relay 2022 Short Course World Championships
Gold 400 Medley Relay 2022 Short Course World Championships
Gold 200 Mixed Medley Relay 2022 Short Course World Championships
Silver 400 Freestyle Relay 2022 Short Course World Championships
Silver 200 Medley Relay 2022 Short Course World Championships

Best Times

Course Event Time Date Meet
lcm 50 Free 24.54 05/15/21 2021 Pro Swim Series
Indianapolis, Indiana
lcm 100 Free 52.57 06/27/23 2023 International Team Trials
Indianapolis, Indiana
lcm 200 Breast 2:19.30 01/13/24 2023 International Team Trials
Knoxville, Tennessee
lcm 100 Fly 56.43 06/29/23 2023 International Team TrialsWorld Junior Swimming Championships
Indianapolis, Indiana
lcm 200 IM 2:07.09 07/01/23 2023 International Team Trials
Indianapolis, Indiana
scy 50 Free 20.84 03/17/22 2022 NCAA Championships
Atlanta, Georgia
scy 100 Free 45.87 02/18/23 2023 ACC Championships
Greensboro, North Carolina
scy 100 Breast 58.64 11/19/21 2021 Tennessee Invitational
Knoxville, Tennessee
scy 200 Breast 2:01.29 03/18/23 2023 NCAA Championships
Knoxville, Tennessee
scy 100 Fly 48.46 03/17/23 2023 NCAA Championships
Knoxville, Tennessee
lcm 100 IM 52.48 09/25/20 2020 UVA Instrasquad
Charlottesville, Virginia
scy 200 IM 1:48.37 03/16/23 2023 NCAA Championships
Knoxville, Tennessee
scm 100 Free 52.39 12/16/21 2021 Short Course World Championships
Abu Dhabi, UAE
scm 200 Breast 2:15.77 12/16/22 2022 Short Course World Championships
Melbourne, Australia
scm 200 IM 2:02.12 12/13/22 2022 Short Course World Championships
Melbourne, Australia
Kate Douglass (photo: Jack Spitser) Alex Walsh Gretchen Walsh Kate Douglass Alexis Wenger (photo: Jack Spitser) Kate Douglass (photo: Jack Spitser) Kate Douglass (photo: Jack Spitser) Alex Walsh Kate Douglass (photo: Jack Spitser) Alex Walsh Kate Douglass (photo: Jack Spitser) Kate Douglass (photo: Jack Spitser)