Ultra Swimmer of the Month: Kate Douglass

Ultra Swim Swimmer of the Month is a recurring SwimSwam feature shedding light on a U.S.-based swimmer who has proven themselves over the past month. As with any item of recognition, Swimmer of the Month is a subjective exercise meant to highlight one athlete whose work holds noteworthy context – perhaps a swimmer who was visibly outperforming other swimmers over the month, or one whose accomplishments slipped through the cracks among other high-profile swims. If your favorite athlete wasn’t selected, feel free to respectfully recognize them in our comment section.

Kate Douglass has been among the best swimmers in the NCAA since breaking onto the scene as a freshman in 2019-20, but perhaps her wide-ranging versatility has never been on display more than it was in mid-November at the Tennessee Invitational.

Douglass’ crowning achievement of the competition came in the final of the women’s 200 breaststroke, where she broke the NCAA, U.S. Open and American Record in a time of 2:01.87, getting under her previous mark of 2:02.19 set last season. However, that was only part of the story of Douglass’ weekend, as it came at the tail-end of an incredibly busy program that included 12 trips to the blocks.

The University of Virginia senior swam the women’s 50 free, 100 breast, 200 breast and 100 fly individually, and also appeared on four Cavalier relays, including leading off the 400 free and 400 medley to put up official times in the 100 free and 100 back. As a result, she ranked among the top swimmers in the NCAA over the weekend across six different events.

Along with the 200 breast all-time record, the 21-year-old set a new personal best time in the 100 breast (58.14) and added season-bests in the 50 free (21.17) and 100 fly (49.76). Leading off the 400 medley relay in the 100 back, her “weakest” of the four strokes, she was .01 off her personal best in 51.85, which ranks 11th in the nation this season.


  • 50 free prelims – 21.17
  • 50 free, 200 free relay lead-off – 21.25
  • 50 free final – 21.46
  • 100 back, 400 medley relay lead-off – 51.85
  • 100 fly prelims – 49.76
  • 100 breast prelims – 58.59
  • 100 fly final – 49.84
  • 100 breast final – 58.14
  • 50 free relay split, 200 medley relay anchor (relay was DQed) – 20.61
  • 200 breast prelims – 2:03.57
  • 100 free, 400 free relay lead-off – 47.67
  • 200 breast final – 2:01.87*

*NCAA, U.S. Open and American Record

Douglass also performed well at UVA’s dual meet with Texas at the beginning of the month, including going one of the fastest times ever in the 100 IM (53.01).

The 2020 U.S. Olympic medalist will quickly turn the page in December, shifting her focus to the Short Course World Championships in Melbourne, Australia, where she’ll contest the women’s 200 breast and 200 IM.

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About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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