UVA Blue vs. Orange Intrasquad
- September 30, 2023
- SCY (25 yards)
- Aquatic and Fitness Center, Charlottesville, Virginia
- Full Results
- Meet Recap
On Saturday at an intrasquad meet held by the University of Virginia, pro swimmer Kate Douglass clocked a time of 51.97 in the women’s 100-yard IM, winning her heat by over a second. With her time, she became the first woman to ever break 52 seconds in the 100 IM, beating out her UVA training partner Gretchen Walsh‘s old “fastest-ever” mark of 52.09 from the UVA-Texas dual meet last season.
In the same heat, Virginia senior Alex Walsh went 53.23, which is the eighth-fastest performance of all-time in the women’s 100 IM.
And before everyone starts asking—yes, everyone was suited for this race. Meanwhile, Walsh had been in a practice suit when she set the old 100 IM “record”.
Women’s 100 IM, Top Performances*:
- Kate Douglass — 51.97 (2023)
- Gretchen Walsh — 52.09 (2022)
- Kate Douglass — 52.48 (2020)
- Kate Douglass — 52.73 (2022)
- Kate Douglass — 53.01 (2022)
- Katie Meili — 53.02 (2014)
- Alex Walsh — 53.08 (2021)
- Alex Walsh — 53.23 (2023)
- Gretchen Walsh — 53.54 (2021)
- Alex Walsh — 53.73 (2022)
*verifying times for an event not typically raced at official meets is difficult, so if you know of a swim we missed, please let us know in the comments.
As shown in the list above, the list of fastest 100 IM performances is dominated by Virginia women, who account for nine of the 10 top times.
The 100 IM isn’t typically contested at major college meets such as conferences and NCAAs, but it is an official NCAA event. The biggest short course yards meet that offers the 100 IM is the NSCA Junior National Championships, although the short course meters edition of the race is part of the event program at both the FINA Short Course World Championships as well as the ISL. That being said, since Douglass is a pro swimmer who is not competing in the NCAA, her 51.97 does not count as an NCAA record.
Here is the race video of Douglass’ swim, courtesy of the UVA Swimming YouTube channel:
Douglass finished her NCAA career this past March, where she put up arguably one of the greatest collegiate performances in history by winning three NCAA titles and breaking NCAA records in all of her individual events. She opted not to use her fifth year of eligibility, citing that she wanted to use the 2023-24 season to prepare for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and focus on long course. However, she will still be training with her old college team at Virginia. At the 2023 World Championships, she won her six medals, including individual gold in the 200 IM and silver in the 200 breast. She also split a 51.79 free anchoring Team USA’s mixed medley relay, clocking the fastest 100 free relay split ever by an American woman.
Although Douglass is done with NCAA swimming, she is still being recognized for her collegiate accolades. Two weeks ago, she was honored as a finalist for the AAU James E. Sullivan Award, which eventually was won by Iowa Women’s Basketball player Caitlin Clark.