Alex Walsh Qualifies for 2nd Olympics, Kate Douglass Wins Third Event

UVA swimmers Kate Douglass and Alex Walsh went 1-2 in the 200m individual medley at the U.S. Olympic Trials, giving Douglass her third event win of the week and securing Walsh's spot in her second Olympics
Kate Douglass and Alex Walsh pose for a photo during the medal ceremony for the 200-meter individual medley final, Saturday, June 22, 2024, during the eighth day of the U.S. Olympic Team Swimming Trials at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Kate Douglass and Alex Walsh pose for a photo during the medal ceremony for the 200-meter individual medley final, Saturday, June 22, 2024, during the eighth day of the U.S. Olympic Team Swimming Trials at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. / Grace Hollars/IndyStar / USA TODAY

It took until the penultimate night at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials in Indianapolis, but Alex Walsh locked up her spot in the 2024 Paris Olympics at long last.

The highlight of what was a banner Saturday night for the Virginia swimming & diving program was the women's 200-meter individual medley, which saw former Wahoo Kate Douglass and UVA senior Alex Walsh finish first and second, giving Douglass her third event win of the week and securing Walsh's spot in her second Olympics.

Douglass crushed her own U.S. Open record from last year and set the fourth-fastest time ever recorded in the event, clocking in at 2:06.79. There was a good amount of water between the two Cavaliers and the rest of the field, as Walsh touched in 2:07.86, more than two seconds ahead of the third-place finisher. Incoming UVA first-year Leah Hayes placed fifth in the finals in 2:11.81.

Walsh placing second in the event finally guaranteed that both Gretchen and Alex Walsh will swim at the Olympics together in Paris next month.

Speaking of Gretchen Walsh, she decided that having secured spots in two events at the Paris Olympics wasn't enough as she raced into the finals of the 50 freestyle with the fastest time in the semifinals, edging Torri Huske by three one-hundredths of a second with a personal best of 24.06 seconds, the fourth-fastest time ever recorded by an American in the event. Walsh will be joined by fellow UVA teammate Maxine Parker in the finals of the 50 free on Sunday, as Parker took the last spot in the finals with an eighth-place time of 24.68 seconds.

Former Cavalier Paige Madden qualified for the 800 freestyle by finishing as the runner-up to Katie Ledecky with a time of 8:20.71. That will be her third event at the 2024 Paris Olympics as Madden also finished second to Ledecky in the 400 free and qualified for the 4x200 free relay.

17-year-old UVA commit and Crozet native Thomas Heilman pulled a stunner in the 100 butterfly, taking second over Dare Rose by four one-hundredths of a second to secure his second event for the Paris Olympics in thrilling fashion. Heilman's time of 50.80 lowered his personal best by nearly four-tenths of a second and broke Michael Phelps' record for fastest time by a 17-year-old in the event. Earlier this week, Heilman took second in the 200 butterfly to become the youngest American male swimmer to qualify for the Olympics since Phelps in 2000.

Six current, former, or future UVA swimmers have now secured spots on Team USA's roster for the 2024 Olympics:

Paige Madden (UVA '21): 400 free, 800 free, 4x200 free relay
Gretchen Walsh (UVA '25): 100 fly, 4x100 free relay
Kate Douglass (UVA '23): 100 free, 200 breast, 200 individual medley, 4x100 free relay
Emma Weber (UVA '26): 100 breast
Thomas Heilman (UVA '29): 200 butterfly, 100 butterfly
Alex Walsh (UVA '24): 200 individual medley


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Matt Newton

MATT NEWTON

Managing Editor and Publisher, CavaliersNow Email: mattnewton@virginia.eduTwitter: @mattynewtssWebsite | LinkedIn | Instagram Matt Newton is the managing editor and publisher at CavaliersNow. He has been covering UVA athletics since 2019 and has been the managing editor at CavaliersNow since launching the site in August 2021. Matt covers all things UVA sports, including Virginia basketball and football news and recruiting, former Wahoos in the pros, and coverage of all 23 of the NCAA Division I sports teams at the University of Virginia. A native of Downingtown, Pennsylvania, Matt grew up a huge Philadelphia sports fan, but has also been a UVA sports fanatic his entire life thanks to his parents, who are alums of the University of Virginia. Matt followed in his parents' footsteps and attended UVA from 2017-2021, graduating with a degree in Media Studies and a minor in Economics in May of 2021.