Kate Douglass Breaks Dara Torres’ 34-Year Old National Age Group Record

Swimming on Wednesday at the New York High School Section 1 Girls’ Championships, 14-year old Kate Douglass, a sophomore at Pelham High School, had the fastest time in prelims of the 50 free – and in record-setting fashion. She swam a 22.32, which sets her up to defend her section 1 title in the event.

Once the swim is ratified by USA Swimming (this was not a USA Swimming meet, but if officials are properly certified, records can be set in high school competition), Douglass will be the new 13-14 National Age Group Record holder in the 50 yard freestyle. The old record of 22.44 was set by the legendary Dara Torres in 1982. At 34-years old, it was the oldest 13-14 short course record left on the books (none now is older than Katie Hoff’s 400 IM from 2004). Torres would go on to qualify for the 1984 U.S. Olympic Team just 2 years later and win a gold medal as part of the American 400 free relay. That was the start of 5 Olympic appearances spanning 24 years for the legendary Torres, who also counts among her accomplishments 3 NCAA individual national titles and 6 University of Florida relay national titles.

The swim was the last Dara Torres National Age Group Record remaining on USA Swimming’s record books.

Douglass’ previous best time of 22.48 was done in April.

She’ll turn 15 on the day before the New York State Championship meet starts on November 18th, meaning that this Sectional Championship is one of her last chances at 13-14 records. She will have a club meet on November 13th that could be a target for any final record attempts.

While she will have aged up by the state meet, she’ll still have goals for that meet though – last year, after winning the 50 and 100 freestyle state titles, Douglass said her goals this year were to repeat in the 50 and add a title in the 100 to her trophy case. She began that quest positively on Wednesday with a 1:01.72 in the 100 breaststroke to take the top seed into finals there as well. That’s a new lifetime best for her and ties her with Annie Zhu for 10th on the all-time age group rankings.

Douglass also split 22.09 on a 200 free relay anchor and led off Pelham’s 400 free relay in 48.99 – the latter of which breaks the New York State Record as well. She does her club swimming under Carleanne Fierro at the Westchester Aquatic Club.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
4 years ago

Amazing! Her 100 free was also a NYS record.

4 years ago

Fantastic, hopefully she can keep it up

4 years ago

NIce DPS!… minus 1 point though for filming in portrait.

Reply to  coacherik
4 years ago

Vertical videos end lives

Swim mom
4 years ago

Incredible swim! Congratulations.

4 years ago

These young athletes are amazing

bobo gigi
4 years ago

Finally broken. Kate Douglass was very close a few months ago. She will be very quickly under 22. Speedy girl.
About US young speedy girls look at 16-year-old Anya Goeders who swam 24.85 in long course. She’s also a sprint phenom.
Records are made to be broken and it’s normal to see such an old record fall one day considering the big improvements in terms of training or suits since then.
Congrats to Miss Douglass. Great accomplishment. Interesting to note that she’s also a very good 200 breast swimmer. Not common to see such versatility.

Reply to  bobo gigi
4 years ago

If she keeps the 100 breast in her program it may be a fast race with Aroesty with both ladies under 1:00.
As someone pointed out, her DPS for the 50 was great. As you have, her 200 breast is solid. And her 100 free came shortly after her 100 breast (event before the relay). She seems to be very strong, powerful and well conditioned.

Reply to  stoobie
4 years ago

*If she keeps the 100 breast in her program it may be a fast race with Aroesty with both ladies under 1:00* at the New York State meet (forgot that context)

4 years ago

how tho

4 years ago

looks like she may have even took a breath off the turn?

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

Read More »