Kate Douglass Swims 3rd-Fastest 200 IM in History by a Freshman

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 15

November 22nd, 2019 ACC, College, News


  • November 21st-24th, 2019
  • Alan Jones Aquatic Center, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee
  • SCY, Prelims/Finals
  • Meet Details
  • Psych Sheets
  • Live Results
  • Results on MeetMobile: 2019 UT Invite

Virginia freshman Kate Douglass swam a 1:52.84 in the 200 IM on Thursday at the Tennessee Invitational. That ranks her as the 3rd-fastest freshman in NCAA history in that event, and the 16th-fastest swimmer of any age.

Her swim also broke the Virginia school record which had been a 1:54.05 set by Kaitlyn Jones in 2016. Jones’ swim was also the old ACC Conference Record.

The only swimmers who have been faster in the 200 IM in their first year of college are Stanford’s Ella Eastin, who swam 1:51.65 as a rookie in 2016 (and was NCAA Champion that season), and Cal’s Kathleen Breaker, who swam a 1:52.80 at the Pac-12 Championships that season, where she finished 2nd behind Eastin.

That year at Pac-12s, the top 3 finishers were actually all freshman, with USC’s Kirsten Vose taking 3rd.

What particularly stands out about Douglass’ swim is that coming out of high school, she was only 1:56.29. By comparison, Baker was a 1:54.50 in high school, and Eastin was a 1:53.90, meaning Baker has had a much steeper improvement curve to this point in her career. Douglass came out of high school with big sprint credentials, but has really expanded her versatility midway through her freshman season at UVA.

Eastin and Baker are now 2 of the 3 fastest 200 yard IMers in history.

Comparative Splits:

Fly Split Back Split Breast Split Free Split Total Time
Baker’s Freshman Best 24.50 27.54 33.22 27.54 1:52.80
Eastin’s Freshman Best 24.81 27.38 32.52 26.94 1:51.65
Douglass’ Freshman Best 24.02 28.53 33.20 27.09 1:52.84

Douglas so far is a better breaststroker than either Baker or Eastin, though she’s got some work to do on her backstroke – the one stroke where she hasn’t really had a breakthrough so far in her freshman season.

Georgia Freshman Zoie Hartman was 2nd in the race in 1:53.69, which is also one of the best all-time swims by a freshman in this event.

Top 8 Freshmen in NCAA History, Women’s 200 Yard IM

  1. Ella Eastin, Stanford – 1:51.65
  2. Kathleen Baker, Cal – 1:52.80
  3. Kate Douglass, Virginia – 1:52.84
  4. Meghan Small, Tennessee – 1:53.31
  5. Kathleen Hersey, Texas – 1:53.33
  6. Liz Pelton, Cal – 1:53.39
  7. Zoie Hartman, Georgia – 1:53.69
  8. Louise Hansson, USC – 1:53.72

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Great googly moogly


Can we get an analysis of where each freshmen’s swim rank in history via separate article?


Wouldn’t Zoie Hartman be 7th now?

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder 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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