Kate Douglass Posts 20.34 50 Free Relay Split, #2 All-Time



Kate Douglass is so good at swimming to the point where she just posted the second-fastest 50 free relay split of all-time, and she’s not even swimming the event individually.

To open up the 2023 NCAA Championships, Douglass clocked a 20.34 to anchor Virginia’s 200 medley relay that broke the US Open, NCAA, and American record in a time of 1:31.51. The only swimmer who has been faster than her on a relay is Anna Hopkin who split a 20.27 at the 2020 SEC Championships.

All-Time Relay Performers, 50-Yard Free

  1. Anna Hopkin (2020) – 20.27
  2. Kate Douglass (2023) — 20.34
  3. Maggie MacNeil (2023) – 20.44
  4. Simone Manuel (2018)/Abbey Weitzeil – 20.45
  5. Gretchen Walsh (2023) – 20.48
  6. Erika Brown (2020) – 20.57
  7. Maggie MacNeil (2022) – 20.59
  8. Arianna Vanderpool Wallace (2012) – 20.80
  9. Maggie Meyer (2010) – 20.81
  10. Kylee Alons (2021) – 20.82
  11. Kelsi Dahlia (2016) – 20.84

That being said, there was a touchpad error when Hopkin set her record-splitting split (which was still considered legal), so how much faster she really was than Douglass today is something that we will never figure out.

Coming into NCAAs, Douglass’s fastest relay split was a 20.49, which she swam to anchor Virginia’s 200 medley relay at ACCs this year. That split had made her the sixth-fastest relay performer of all time.

After winning two straight 50 free NCAA titles, Douglass will be opting to swim the 200 IM tomorrow individually for the first time since the cancelled 2020 NCAA Championships. Her best time on a flat start in the 50 free is a 20.84, which is 0.01 of a second slower than Gretchen Walsh‘s 20.83 US Open, NCAA, and American record.

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16 days ago

I wonder what kind of time Sjostrom/Campbell/McKeon would swim 50 yard

Reply to  Loeb
16 days ago

Ranomi’s 22.9 SCM would be 20 mid?

Awsi Dooger
16 days ago

That went from a tie race to over as soon as Douglass launched. The amusing aspect was after the race when Douglass expected some type of warm acknowledgment from the swimmers on either side of her, and neither one so much as looked in her direction. Douglass first looked toward North Carolina State in lane 5. Nothing. She turned toward Texas in lane 3. Nothing. Douglass responded with a little smirk grin and climbed out of the pool.

If that’s the way you want it I’m fine with that.

Girlie no
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
16 days ago

its funny because i just watched the race video and this is just so false. douglass made no effort to give a “warm acknowledgment” to the swimmers next to her either. how about we let them celebrate with their team and congratulate their competitors later

Reply to  Girlie no
16 days ago

This guy makes up false narratives all the time especially about female swimmers and was also fat shaming Manuel in the comments during the last Pro Swim Series meet.

Emily Se-Bom Lee
Reply to  Troyy
16 days ago

at least douglass doesn’t have tattoos, right?

Reply to  Awsi Dooger
16 days ago

Last year’s 200 Medley relay was even better since they and Alabama entered all around the same time and Douglass was almost a body-length ahead after surfacing

16 days ago

The overall curve of improvement in swimming is still remarkable. The majority of these performances are after 2020, with the outlier still being 2012. I suspect a reasonable chance some lady will break 20 seconds in the next 5 years..

VA Steve
16 days ago

Amazing anchor.

Chlorine Cole
16 days ago

Rowdy said she was the fastest in history… He also was upset when Dressel didnt go 38 in the 100 free!
Rowdy needs to be replaced by KYLE SOCKWELL!! how many more times will we let this happen:(

Reply to  Chlorine Cole
16 days ago

Her 20.3 was not the fastest in history as well.

Reply to  Chlorine Cole
16 days ago

Sockwell isn’t the solution

16 days ago

MacNeil split 20.44 at SEC:

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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