MISSOULA — Katharine Berkoff is bringing home quite the collection of awards from her first trip to the NCAA swimming championships this weekend in Greensboro, North Carolina.
The Missoula Hellgate grad won three national titles and earned seven All-American honors as North Carolina State placed second overall as a team, its best finish in program history. The Wolfpack finished with 354 points, while fellow ACC squad Virginia won the title with 491 points.
Berkoff, who swam at Missoula Aquatic Club, now has 12 All-American awards. The sophomore garnered five based on qualifying times last year because the championships were canceled by the pandemic.
This year, Berkoff made her biggest splash when she and three teammates set an NCAA record and a U.S. Open record in winning the 400-yard medley relay in 3:24.59. She swam the 100 backstroke in the relay, setting a personal-best time.
Berkoff was again the lead swimmer as NC State won the 200-yard medley relay championship in 1:33.18.
Berkoff later set a personal record and an ACC record when she won the 100 back in 49.74 for her first individual NCAA title and the second in program history. That came one race after a teammate earned the school's first individual crown.
Berkoff also placed third in the 200 freestyle relay, fourth in the 400 free relay, sixth in the 200 back and eighth in the 50 free. She got All-American status in each of the seven events in which she competed.
Berkoff picked up five All-American honors in 2020 as a freshman: 100 back, 200 back, 800 free relay, 200 medley relay and 400 medley relay. She came out of high school as the No. 3 recruit in the nation.
Last summer, Berkoff was named to the 2020-21 USA Swimming National Team in the 100 back for the second year in a row as she chases her first appearance in the Olympics. The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo were delayed to this summer because of the pandemic.
Frank Gogola covers Griz football and prep sports for the Missoulian. Follow him on Twitter @FrankGogola or email him at email@example.com.