MISSOULA — Katharine Berkoff will soon swim in college and has her eyes on a spot in the Olympics, but first, the recent Missoula Hellgate graduate brings in one more high school honor.
Berkoff is a National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association all-American for the fourth time in her Hellgate career. The top 100 times in each race earn the distinction. Berkoff posted the third-fastest time in the country in the 100-yard backstroke at 52.40 seconds and also finished 30th in the 100 freestyle at 49.90 seconds.
The star won four more gold medals at the state swimming meet in February, individual titles in the 100 back and 100 free, and the 200 freestyle relay and 200 medley relay with Hellgate teammates. Swimmers can only enter four races at a state meet. Berkoff never lost at the competition in her career, winning 16 races. She holds five state records for her performances in individual and relay races at the state meet.
Berkoff ranked fifth in the nation in the 100 backstroke as a junior and 35th in the 100 freestyle. In 2017 as a sophomore, she ended the season in 24th in the 100 backstroke and 98th in the 200 freestyle. Berkoff became an all-American for the first time by finishing her freshman year in 2016 ranked 65th in the country in the 100 backstroke.
She won a gold medal in the 100 back at the World University Games in Italy last week and will start competing for North Carolina State this fall.