Sophomore swimmer Kate Douglass’ career since joining Virginia has been nothing short of impressive, as she has consistently collected honors at both the collegiate and national level. This season, Douglass’ performance at the Toyota U.S. Open was what set her apart from the competition. With a time of 57.43 in the 100-meter butterfly, she placed third and ultimately earned a spot on the 2020-21 U.S. Senior National Team, and will race the same event in international competitions with the team.
“Being named to the U.S. National Team is one of the highest honors for American swimmers,” Coach Todd DeSorbo said. “It is a testament to Kate’s commitment to excellence, especially in a year where COVID has interrupted training and competing.”
Before receiving recognition as one of the nation’s most elite swimmers, Douglass had already made a mark on the collegiate swimming world during her freshman season with Virginia. After earning numerous accolades — including being named an All-American in three individual events and four relay events, setting several records in the pool and impressing at the 2020 ACC Swimming and Diving Championships — Douglass was named 2019-20 ACC Freshman Swimmer of the Year.
Since then, Douglass has not slowed down. Rather, she has continued her streak of successful competition into her sophomore season, having earned ACC Swimmer of the Week honors twice thus far while also winning numerous races and breaking even more records. Her success has had a considerable impact on the women’s team overall, which is currently ranked second in the nation.
Despite competing on the U.S. Junior National Team for the past two seasons, being named to the Senior National Team came as a pleasant surprise to Douglass.
“I believe [USA Swimming doesn’t] usually add people at this time in the year during a non-COVID season, so I was very surprised when I first found out,” Douglass said. “Making the national team has been a goal of mine for a few years now, so it’s just a great feeling to see all of my hard work pay off and finally reach my goal.”
With some incredible distinctions and a spot on the Senior National Team under her belt, Douglass now looks to the Olympic Trials — which are set to take place in Omaha, Neb. in June.
“Kate continues to improve and this is another step towards the ultimate goal of qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Team,” DeSorbo said. “Kate is already in the discussion as one of the best current NCAA swimmers in the country. Now, she joins the discussion as a contender for the U.S. Olympic Team headed to Tokyo later this summer.”
Douglass previously qualified for the Olympic Trials back in 2016, but with collegiate swimming now on her record, her chances of becoming an Olympian have greatly improved. Until then, she will continue to swim for the Cavaliers throughout the rest of their season and into the postseason, where she will look to improve upon last year’s successes.