High School Sports


Missoula Hellgate’s Katharine Berkoff becomes 1st Montanan ever named NHSCA Girls Swimming Athlete of the Year

Posted at 9:20 PM, Apr 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-20 22:29:42-04

(Editor’s note: National High School Coaches Association press release)

The National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA) is pleased to announce Katharine Berkoff of Hellgate High School in Missoula, Montana as its National Senior Girls’ Swimming Athlete of the Year.

Berkoff ended her scholastic career by setting two more records at the Montana state meet in the 100 backstroke and 100 freestyle. In all, Berkoff won 16 individual state titles during her career and never lost a race in her four years. She ranks 14th in the world in the 100 backstroke and she’s hoping to make the United States swim team for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. Berkoff’s dad, David, won four overall Olympic medals.

As a senior, Berkoff was named the swimmer of the meet, setting new state records in both of her individual events. In the 100 freestyle, she won in 49.90 seconds, which broke her own record of 50.01 seconds that she set last season. In the 100 backstroke, she won in 52.40 seconds, which also broke her own record set last year in 52.80 seconds.

In December, Berkoff a set Speedo Junior Nationals meet record in the 100- and 200-yard backstroke. She also won the 100 freestyle and finished second in the 200 individual medley.

“Katharine is an excellent example what this award stands for,” said Eric Hess, Executive Director of the NHSCA. “She has excelled as much in the classroom as she has on the field. We congratulate Megan on an outstanding high school career and wish her success at North Carolina State University.”

Berkoff is the first Montana high school swimmer to ever win the NHSCA National Girls’ Swimming Athlete of the Year award.

During April, the NHSCA will be announcing the 2018-2019 Athlete of the Year honorees in 20 boys’ and girls’ sports. This marks the 20th consecutive year the NHSCA has honored achievers within the high school athletic community nationwide.

Each of the honorees will receive a beautiful plaque. In addition, the Athlete of the Year honoree will be displayed in the National High School Digital Sports Hall of Fame that is currently under development.