Berkoff, Harder Shine at 2018 MAC Fall Invite in Missoula

Karl Ortegon
by Karl Ortegon 8

November 05th, 2018 Club, News


  • November 1-4, 2018
  • Missoula, MT
  • Results on Meet Mobile under ‘2018 MAC Fall Invite’

At the 2018 MAC Fall Invite last weekend, Missoula Aquatic Club‘s Katharine Berkoff and Billings Aquatic Club’s Ethan Harder, two of the top high school seniors in the country, racked up plenty of wins and strong swims.

Berkoff won every single event in which she raced. She’s primarily a backstroker, and the backstroke events were her ticket onto the U.S. Junior National Team for the 2018-19 season. This past weekend, she swam a 53.35 in the 100 back and a 1:59.93 in the 200 back. Additionally, Berkoff added a 51.42 100 free, 4:52.38 500 free, 55.19 100 fly, and 2:07.01 200 IM. In the 500 free, she took over three full seconds off of her lifetime best.

In the 200 free relay, Berkoff ripped a 22.43 relay split. In the flat start 50, her best time is a 22.99, so that swim probably would’ve been right on that had she swum the individual event.

Harder, like Berkoff, won all of the events in which he swam. He’s coming off of winning the 2018 Speedo Jr National title in the 200 back and also competing at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires last month.

His most impressive wins came in the 100 back and 200 fly. In the 100 back, Harder was 48.83 to win, while he was 1:49.85 to dominate the 200 fly. Though he was well off of his lifetime bests in those events, he hit PRs in the 50 free (21.31) and 500 free (4:34.24). Harder won the 100 free (47.50) and 200 back (1:51.12) as well.

#11 Harder is verbally committed to Texas for next fall, while Berkoff is the lone swimmer in the top 20 for 2019 who has yet to announce a verbal commitment to a school.



  1. Missoula YMCA Swim Team 1257.5
  2. Missoula Aquatic Club 1079
  3. Helena Lion Swim Team 1038
  4. Bozeman Barracudas Swim Club 937
  5. Billings Aquatic Club 748


  1. Missoula Aquatic Club 1998
  2. Missoula YMCA Swim Team 1009
  3. Helena Lions Swim Team 916
  4. Billings Aquatic Club 793
  5. Bozeman Barracudas Swim Club 654

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Is Berkoff related to Blastoff?

Yes, his daughter.

No Longer in MT

Not difficult to do for either of them in Montana. Both are outstanding swimmers but sadly don’t have any level of competition when swimming in state. Look forward to seeing their results at the college level.


If Berkoff doesn’t go Stanford will they get any top 10?


Usually if a top swimmer is waiting this long to announce her commitment, it boasts well for Stanford. Berkoff did visit Stanford along with Regan Smith, Alex Walsh, Lillie Nordmann, Emma Wheal, Alex Crisera and Kira Crage in early October


Some of them are seniors and some are juniors?!?


Yes the NCAA changed their rules this year to allow juniors to take official visits in the fall of their junior year.


3 of 7 visitors already committed to Stanford for 2019 class. Waiting for Berkoff for 2019. Then the other 3 for 2020.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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