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Hellgate’s Katharine Berkoff makes a pass in Splash Montana’s pool for a portrait last June. Berkoff qualified for the Olympic trials in 2016 as a 15-year-old

TOMMY MARTINO, Missoulian

Katharine Berkoff didn't participate in Saturday's Missoula Invitational swim meet. She had an even bigger event to attend.

Berkoff, a Missoula Hellgate sophomore, was one of 68 swimmers chosen for the USA Swimming National Select Camp this weekend at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Berkoff qualified for last summer's U.S. Olympic Trials in the 100-meter backstroke.

“This honor reflects the hard work she’s put into training this year and is the first step toward her life-long dream of joining the Olympic swim team in 2020," said Jay Friend, Berkoff's head coach with the Missoula Acquatic Club.

“The National Select Camp is part of the pathway to the USA Swimming National Team,” said Pat Hogan, USA Swimming’s Club Development Managing Director. “A strategic element of this camp is teaching and reinforcing the National Team culture which has always been a key part of the USA’s success in international competition. We want these athletes to cultivate a deep-rooted allegiance to Team USA."

Swimmers were selected from top times during the 2016 qualifying period where the two fastest athletes in each event, ranging from age 14 to 16 were invited to the camp.

Missoulian Staff

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