Kate Douglass Destroys American Record In 200-Yard Breaststroke; Sub-2:00 Coming Into Play

Kate Douglass -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Kate Douglass Becomes First Woman Under 2:02 in 200-Yard Breaststroke, Breaks Own American Record

Virginia senior Kate Douglass was the top individual performer of the last college swim season as she broke American records in three events and three different strokes at the NCAA Championships in March. Now, Douglass has lowered the mark further in one of those events. During the final session of the Tennessee Invitational Saturday evening, Douglass beat her own American record in the 200 breaststroke.

Douglass swam a time of 2:01.87, knocking three tenths off the previous record of 2:02.19 she set in March. In this swim, she covered the middle 100 yards about four tenths quicker than she did in March, and that was enough to make her the first woman in history under 2:02.

Splits from 2022 NCAA Championships: 27.84, 58.98 (31.14), 1:30.54 (31.56), 2:02.19 (31.65)
Splits from 2022 Tennessee Invitational: 27.94, 58.76 (30.82), 1:30.25 (31.49), 2:01.87 (31.62)

The 21-year-old originally from Pelham, N.Y., has now recorded a time seven tenths ahead of the best Lilly King ever recorded, a 2:02.60 which stood as the American, NCAA and U.S. Open records for four years.

Douglass was so dominant in this race that teammate Alex Walsh swam a time which would have been good enough for second at last year’s NCAA Championships behind Douglass, but she was still more than two seconds behind. Walsh finished in 2:03.93, almost a second slower than her lifetime best of 2:03.02 which ranks her third all-time behind Douglass and King. Virginia swept the event as Ella Nelson took third in 2:07.06 and Anna Keating touched fourth in 2:08.01.