Kate Douglass, Walsh Sisters Race at NCAP Elite Qualifier in Trials Rehearsal; Quick Times Produced

Kate Douglass -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Kate Douglass, Walsh Sisters Race at NCAP Elite Qualifier in Last Trials Rehearsal

Most of the top swimmers from the University of Virginia have not competed since the TYR Pro Swim Series in San Antonio in mid-April, so Cavaliers’ head coach Todd DeSorbo opted for this weekend’s NCAP Elite Qualifier in Stafford, Va., for one final tune-up meet before his swimmers attempt to secure qualification onto the U.S. Olympic teamKate Douglass and Alex Walsh, both Olympic medalists in 2021 and world champions, are in attendance, and so is Alex’s younger sister Gretchen Walsh, fresh off another historic NCAA Championships performance.

Douglass raced twice Friday, first in the 100 breaststroke prelims, where she clocked a mark of 1:06.36 that moved her into the global top-20 for 2024 and third among Americans behind Olympic champions Lilly King and Lydia Jacoby. Douglass scratched that final, and Alex Walsh took the win in 1:07.85, a tenth clear of Virginia teammate Emma Weber (1:07.95). Douglass would later swim a time trial of the 100 freestyle, and she clocked 53.16, just off her season-best mark of 52.98 that ranks eighth globally.

Gretchen Walsh raced the 100 butterfly Friday, swimming a mark of 56.96 in prelims to easily qualify first ahead of Virginia teammate Claire Curzan (58.30). She followed up in the evening session with a superb mark of 56.65, with Curzan following in 57.74.

Aimee Canny won the 200 free in 1:57.82, about a second behind her top 2024 mark of 1:56.80 from the South African National Championships in April. On the men’s side, Noah Nichols clocked 1:00.70 in the 100 breast prelims before returning with a 1:01.22 in the final. Meanwhile, future Cavalier and current National-Age-Group-record holder Thomas Heilman clocked a mark of 52.29 in the 100 fly.

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