Kate Douglass Breaks Gretchen Walsh’s Pool Record With 50.47 in 100 Back Prelims

by Robert Gibbs 44

February 04th, 2023 College, News, Previews & Recaps


  • February 3-5, 2023
  • UVA Aquatic Center – Charlottesville, VA
  • 25 Yards (SCY)
  • Live Results: “2023 Cavalier Invitational” on MeetMobile
  • Teams: UVA, George Washington, James Madison, Johns Hopkins, UNC-Wilmington, UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Richmond, William & Mary

Let’s try understatement instead of hyperbole: Kate Douglass is pretty decent at a lot of different swimming events. Douglass, fastest women ever in the yards versions of the 50 free and the 200 breast, threw down a new big personal best in the 100 back this morning. Her time of 50.47 in the prelims session on the second day of the annual Cavalier Invite broke the UVA pool record. There was a little confusion over what exactly the the previous record was, but we’ve confirmed that Gretchen Walsh (the 2nd-fastest woman ever in that event) had set it at 50.61 in 2022. Douglass also set a new personal best by well over a second (her previous best was a 51.84), and her swim today moves her up to #3 in the NCAA this season. It also puts her just outside the top 20 all-time in an event in what’s her “worst” stroke, although as an elite IMer, of course, she doesn’t have a weak stroke in the traditional sense.

The 200 free also saw some electric times on the women’s side. South African national Aimee Canny popped a 1:43.90 in what looks to be only her third time ever swimming the event in yards. She’d been 1:46 a couple times last month in dual meets, but this morning’s swim moves her up to #5 nationally this season. With another six weeks to go before NCAAs, she’s now less than half a second away the time it took to make the A-final last year.

UVA freshman Claire Tuggle had a big swim of her own in the 200 free. She posted the second-fastest time of the morning with a 1:44.81. That’s her first personal best in this event in almost five years; her previous best time of 1:44.96 came back in March of 2018, when she was just 13 years-old. Reilly Tiltmann, who won the B-final in this event at NCAAs last year, went 1:45.71 for the 3rd-fastest time, followed by Gretchen Walsh at 1:46.05.

On the men’s side, another quite versatile swimmer, UVA’s Tim Connery, set a new personal best in the 100 breast with a time of 52.95. That knocks about a quarter of a second off of his previous best of 53.19 from late 2019, when he was still in high school. His teammate Noah Nichols who’s currently tied for #4 in the nation with a 51.51, posted the top time of the morning with a 52.21.

Other top seeds:

  • UVA’s Sam Baron led the 100 fly prelims with a 52.48, while teammate Max Edwards led the men with a 47.44.
  • Neither the men nor the women managed to fill out a full heat of the 400 IM. Four of the five competitors on the women’s side came from William & Mary and Tribe swimmer Kim Jogis led the way with a 4:29.14. UVA’s Sean Conway led a four-man field with a 3:50.36 this morning.
  • Jack Aikins posted the top time of the morning in the men’s 200 free with a 1:35.85 as the Cavaliers swept the top 8 spots.
  • Ella Nelson, who is part of UVA’s vaunted breast and IM groups, but who swims the 400 IM at championship meets, got under a minute for the first time ever in the 100 breast with a 59.57.
  • After setting a pool record in the 50 free last night, Matt Brownstead led the 100 back heats with a 46.97 this morning.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 month ago

She goes: weak stroke? 😤

1 month ago

Also G. Walsh is no longer undefeated

Reply to  Hoosyadaddy
1 month ago

That was in reference to dual meet performances.

1 month ago

Ughh she didn’t swim it tonight

1 month ago

The decision for Kate Douglass is either the W 50 FR or W 200 IM on Day 2 of the NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships.


1 month ago

Kate Douglass beat Alex Walsh in the women’s 200 meter individual medley (SCM) at the 16th FINA World Short Course Championships. Kate Douglass beat Lilly King in the women’s 200 meter breaststroke (SCM) at the 16th FINA World Short Course Championships. Knocking gold medalists from the 2022 FINA World Aquatics Championships off the pedestal. A humble female athlete who lets her swimming do the talking.

1 month ago

Correction for headline and article – it was actually Reilly Tiltman’s pool record in the 100 back that Kate just broke.

1 month ago

About a year ago I added up the aggregate 100 yard times and Douglass was in first with 206.33, Coughlin was second with 207.11, MacNeil was third with 208.94 and A.Walsh was 4th in 208.97.

Douglass has dropped almost 2 and a half seconds since, with a 203.95 now and A.Walsh has beaten MacNeil with a 208.69, and that’s with PBs in fly and back from high school that she’s clearly capable of being faster in (51.32 fly and 50.88 lol).

But A.Walsh stays in 4th because Gretchen has entered the mix with a 206.65 cumulative and beating out Coughlin for second. Since I last checked a year ago, she’s dropped 4.38 seconds (0.93 in free, 1.61 in… Read more »

T Hill
Reply to  jeff
1 month ago

It goes to show you can still improve (yes, it can be a challenge) as a female swimmer in college, older/masters it’s all about working with a coaching staff to find ways to get better In & out of the pool; it call a partnership in your journey for improvement in what ever you do. Kudo’s to those ladies who want & are willing to take ownership in the process.

Reply to  T Hill
1 month ago

There have been a number of female athletes who have represented USA Swimming that have peaked after the age of 20 during the post banned suit era (2010 to present).

Reply to  jeff
1 month ago

Lordy was Natalie amazing or what?
And Tracy Caulkins in the 70s

Reply to  jeff
1 month ago

According to SwimCloud, the personal best times (SCY) for Kate Douglass are denoted below:

W 100 BK: 50.47 (today)
W 100 BR: 58.14 (11/18/2022)
W 100 FL: 49.04
W 100 FR: 46.30
Total: 203.95 seconds

Kate Douglass has posted two personal best times in the 100 yard events during the 2022-2023 NCAA Season.


VA Steve
1 month ago

Lordy. What a great dilemma for entries.

About Robert Gibbs