Kate Douglass sets new world record, leads UVA women to third NCAA swimming title

Pelham’s Kate Douglass broke the world record in the women’s 200-yard individual medley during the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships on Thursday, and her University of Virginia team went on to win its third consecutive national title three days later. Douglass had three first place finishes in the finals on Saturday.

In the 200 IM, the UVA senior finished with a final time of 1:48.37, shattering the previous record held by Cavalier teammate Alex Walsh. Douglass became the first woman to ever finish the 200 IM in under 1:50, knocking an amazing 1.7 seconds off the previous record.

Before Thursday night’s competition, Douglass had never entered an NCAA 200-yard race, making the record time all the more impressive. With a performance that beat out two world champions, and is a 1.9% improvement on the previous record, it’s safe to say Douglass has placed her name among the elite of the elite. The record and the NCAA title cap off an incredible college career for her and a dominating season for Virginia.

“Senior Kate Douglass led Virginia with three individual wins, winning the 200-yard IM, 100-yard butterfly and 200-yard breaststroke, all in NCAA, American and U.S. open record times,” said the UVA swimming website. “Douglass has seven individual NCAA Championships in her career, sweeping all three events in 2022 and 2023.”

Douglass is a Pelham Memorial High School class of 2019 graduate and earned bronze in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the 200m IM.