Kate Douglass Chooses 100 Free Over 200 Breast, Sets Up Loaded Final Sprint Field

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 7

February 18th, 2023 News


The Virginia women had two more big choices to make in a week of big choices at the 2023 ACC Swimming & Diving Championships.

Collegiate superstar Kate Douglass and the younger Walsh sister Gretchen Walsh each entered the final day of competition with one remaining individual races and two entries to choose from.

For Douglass, the choice was between the 200 breaststroke, where she is the fastest swimmer ever in yards and the defending World Champion in short course meters, and the 100 free, where she was also the top seed.

Douglass opted to drop the 200 breaststroke, which might be her best event; that makes teammate Alex Walsh the #1 seed. Remember that earlier in the meet, Walsh’s scratch of the 200 IM (along with that of another teammate, Ella Nelson) made Douglass the top seed.

Douglass’ main competition in the 100 free will come from her teammate Gretchen Walsh, who is tied as the #2 seed with Louisville junior Gabi Albiero. Gretchen Walsh dropped the 2nd seed in the 200 back to focus on her swim as the 2nd seed in the 100 free.

The 200 back was probably the safer path to maximum points, but the Virginia women are in a runaway scenario with a 186-point lead ahead of NC State going into the final day of competition.

That leaves a great 100 free field with Douglass, Gretchen Walsh, Albiero, and NC State’s Katharine Berkoff, who was 3rd at last year’s NCAA Championship meet in the 100 free. All five of those swimmers are stars of the league, all but Berkoff have swum best times this week, and all but Albiero have already won individual titles this week.

The finish order of the women’s meet is pretty-close to locked up, especially at the top five. Behind Virginia, NC State had a big day on Friday to pull 119.5 points ahead of Louisville for 2nd place.

For the men, NC State is pulling away from the field and chasing a history 1,600 point output on the final day of the meet. The Louisville men hold a 39.5-point lead ahead of Virginia Tech, with Virginia another 29 points back of the Hokies.

Top 20 Scratches, Saturday AM Session

Women’s 200 back

Men’s 200 back

Women’s 100 free

Men’s 100 free

Women’s 200 breast 

Men’s 200 breast


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3 months ago

Pretty good clickbait one has to admit.

3 months ago

I think you mean Kate Douglass, not Gretchen Walsh, in the headline.

Reply to  CavaDore
3 months ago

Fixed 👍🏼

Octavio Gupta
3 months ago

Aww I wanted to see what G Walsh could do in the 200 breast

3 months ago

If Virginia’s women do what they can do, they’re going to smash 1,500

One could see a scenario where they are 1,480ish going into tonight’s relay, with Wilson attempting the Regan Smith double (!), and with:

1,650 Free

200 Back

100 Free

200 Breast

3 months ago

Headline is messed up

Reply to  VFL
3 months ago

It’s not technically wrong, it’s just that she made that choice when she was like 10 years old lol.

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, …

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