Eight-Time NCAA Champion Kate Douglass Says 2023 NCAAs Will Be Her Final College Meet

Yanyan Li
by Yanyan Li 48

February 03rd, 2023 ACC, College, National, News

On Friday, Virginia fourth-year, Olympic bronze medalist, and eight-time NCAA champion Kate Douglass told SwimSwam that as of now, she does not plan on using her fifth year of eligibility offered to all NCAA winter student-athletes that competed during the COVID-19-affected 2020-21 NCAA season.

“As of now, I plan to stay and train at Virginia and get my masters in statistics,” Douglass said. “I am looking forward to focusing on long course, and having more flexibility in my schedule to travel and attend meets.”

In addition, Douglass said on The Social Kick podcast that the 2023 NCAA Championships would be her final collegiate competition.

“Well it’s my last one, which is kind of crazy,” Douglass said when asked about what she was looking forward to at this year’s NCAAs. “I think it’s going to be really emotional, especially just with the other girls in my class…I’ll be really sentimental probably, so I’m kind of just looking forward to enjoying the moment with my teammates and taking it all in. It’s just kind of crazy that this will be my last college meet ever.”

Also on Social Kick, Douglass said she was still deciding between swimming the 50 free and 200 IM on the first day of NCAAs. While she is the defending champion and NCAA record holder in the 50 free, she is currently the fastest swimmer in the 200 IM this season by over a second and recently won gold in the event at the 2022 Short Course World Championships.

Not swimming in college next year will give Douglass the opportunity to focus on long course in preparation for the 2024 Paris Olympics. In long course, Douglass is the 2021 Olympic bronze medalist in the 200 IM and the 2022 Worlds bronze medalist in the 200 breast.

Regardless of how she swims at NCAAs this season, Douglass will leave UVA as one of the greatest college swimmers in history. She has won a total of four individual NCAA titles, which includes going three-for-three in the 50 free (20.84), 100 fly (49.04), and 200 breast (2:02.19) at last year’s NCAA championships—with all of her wins being done in American record fashion. At the 2022 Tennessee Invite this season, she lowered the 200 breast NCAA record once more to a 2:01.87.

Douglass is also a major relay contributor for UVA, swimming on all four of her team’s relays (200 free relay, 200 medley relay, 400 free relay, 400 medley relay) that won NCAA titles and broke American records. Her performances last season got her named as the 2022 CSCAA female swimmer of the year, as well as the 2022 Honda Sport Award winner for swimming and diving.

Throughout her career, Douglass has also shown incredible versatility, being elite in freestyle, breaststroke, and butterfly.

Kate Douglass, Best Times:

  • 50 free: 20.84 (NCAA record)
  • 100 free: 46.30 (#8 performer all-time)
  • 100 fly: 49.04 (American record, #2 performer-all time)
  • 200 breast: 2:01.87 (NCAA record)
  • 200 IM: 1:50.92 (#4 performer all-time)

Losing Douglass next season will have tremendous impact on UVA. Last year, she and Alex Walsh both scored 60 individual points at NCAAs, which was the most out of any swimmer at the meet. In addition, UVA relays will likely have to be completely rearranged without her, considering that she was an X-factor on their four strongest relays.

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1 month ago

Good on you Doug

Fraser Thorpe
1 month ago

Is there anywhere where we can see a list of most individual ncaa titles? Doesn’t seem readily available.

I remember Janet Evans and Caulkins at one point had the most national titles?

Reply to  Fraser Thorpe
1 month ago

These documents have a lot of that kind of data: https://www.ncaa.org/sports/2013/11/29/ncaa-men-s-and-women-s-swimming-and-diving-championship-records-and-results.aspx

Pablo Morales has the most D1 individual titles for men at 11. Tracy Caulkins has the most for women, 12. But remember that Tracy swam in an era where you could win more individual titles in one season (and she did – 5 in 1982, and 4 in 1984).

Pablo had 14 total titles including relays. John Naber had 15 including relays. Calukins had 16 including relays. Coughlin had 12 in including relays (only 1 relay win, which was surprising to me). Moravcova had 14 including relays.

Jenny Thompson, the relay queen, had 19. 9 individual, and 10 relays. KLJ also… Read more »

Fraser Thorpe
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

That’s great, thanks Braden

1 month ago

remarkable career. most versatile swimming (male or female) in NCAA history

Reply to  Meathead
1 month ago

One of the most versatile. She excelled in the breaststroke where some of the other versatile swimmers did not.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Meathead
1 month ago

This is the breakdown I’d like to see.

Even if there were some swimmers that maybe had the potential to swim the range of events she does, I’d be surprised if anyone has.

1 month ago

Douglas 1:49.7 – 200 IM

1 month ago

This makes total sense to me, but also wondering how much she’ll be able to concentrate on LC if training with the UVA team during their SC season?

1 month ago

What pros are training at UVA currently?

Reply to  Yanyan Li
1 month ago

Jack Conger trained there for a bit too before retiring.

1 month ago

OMG. Virginia is falling apart! The sky is falling! 🤪

1 month ago

I totally forgot that she broke records that belonged to King and Weitzel (at the same meet, different stroke, different distances). Just crazy.

Reply to  Calvin
1 month ago

50 free to 200 breast range blows my mind.

About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Although Yanyan wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming through scoring countless dual meets, being a timer, and keeping track of her teammates' best times for three years as a team manager. She eventually ventured into the realm of writing and joined SwimSwam in …

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