Katharine Berkoff

View Current photo via Courtesy of Jack Spitser

Katharine Berkoff is a competitive swimmer who represents the United States internationally. Berkoff is the daughter of Olympic gold medalist David Berkoff, but has built a name for herself separate from her father.

Berkoff was ranked #3 on SwimSwam’s Top 20 NCAA Recruits Class of 2019, topping the class in both the 100 (51.93) and 200 backstroke (1:51.40).

In November 2018, Berkoff committed to swim collegiately at NC State.

College (NC State)

2019-2020

Berkoff made an immediate impact her freshman season. At her first ACC Championships, she won the 100 back (51.64) and placed 2nd in the 200 back (1:52.36) behind teammate Emma Muzzy. She also placed 24th in the prelims of the 500 free before scratching the final. She also swam on NC State’s title-winning 400 medley relay as well as their 800 free and 200 medley relays, which both placed 2nd.

Before she got the chance to swim at the NCAA Championships, they were cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

2020-2021

After her freshman campaign was cut short, Berkoff made the most of her sophomore season. She defended her ACC title in the 100 back (50.45) and her runner-up finish in the 200 back (1:51.06), once again finishing behind her teammate Emma Muzzy. She also tied for 4th in the 50 free (22.08) and swam on NC State’s 2nd place 200 medley relay, 3rd place 800 free relay, 2nd place 200 free relay, and 2nd place 400 medley relay.

At her first NCAA Championships, Berkoff broke onto the scene in a big way. She scored her first NCAA title by touching first in a time of 49.74, her first time under the 50-second barrier. That wasn’t her only title though, as she helped NC State to a medley relay sweep, leading off both winning-200 and 400 medley relays. She also placed 6th in the 200 back (1:50.88), 8th in the 50 free (21.96), and swam on NCS’s 3rd place 200 free and 4th place 400 free relays.

2021-2022

Berkoff continued her success into her junior season. She 3-peated in the 100 back at the ACC Championships, swimming a PB and meet record of 49.41. She also tested the waters in the 100 free individually, placing 3rd in 46.89 and rounding out her individuals with a 4th place in the 50 free (21.66). She helped NC State to 2nd place finishes in the 200 and 400 free and medley relays.

At the NCAA Championships, Berkoff once again asserted her dominance, defending her 100 back national title in a massive 48.74, breaking the NCAA, US Open, and American records in the process. She also placed 7th in the 50 free (21.55) and 3rd in the 100 free (46.95). She helped NCS to 2nd in the 200 medley relay, 3rd in the 200 free relay, 2nd in the 400 medley relay, and a tie for 4th in the 400 free relay.

National/International Competition

2019 World University Games (Napoli, Italy)

At the World University Games, Berkoff won the 100 back with a meet record 59.29, snapping her own record (59.57) from the prelims, and finished fourth in the 50 back (28.57).

She also was a member of Team USA’s gold medal 4×100 medley relay team, swimming a 1:00.03 in the backstroke.

Coming off of a quick turnaround from WUG’s, Berkoff won the 200 free (2:03.o9) at the Mt. Hood Speedo Sectional meet in July 2019, swimming a personal best to win by just over a second.

2021 Short Course World Championships (Abu Dhabi, UAE)

Berkoff won her first World Champs medal in Abu Dhabi, and then won 5 more. She earned individual bronze in the 100 back and was a key relay piece, swimming in prelims or finals of all 4 women’s relays that the USA medaled in. She also swam prelims of the mixed 200 medley relay, which earned silver.

2022 World Championship Trials

Coming off of a stellar NCAA performance, Berkoff carried her momentum into long course. On night 3 of the trials, she won the 50 back, breaking an American record in a time of 27.12 and placing her on her first world champs team.

International Medals

Place Event Year Meet
Gold 200 Freestyle Relay 2021 Short Course World Championships
Gold 400 Freestyle Relay 2021 Short Course World Championships
Silver 800 Freestyle Relay 2021 Short Course World Championships
Silver 200 Medley Relay 2021 Short Course World Championships
Silver 200 Mixed Medley Relay 2021 Short Course World Championships
Bronze 100 Back 2021 Short Course World Championships

Best Times

Course Event Time Date Meet
scy 50 Free 21.55 03/17/22 2022 NCAA Championships
Atlanta, Georgia
scy 100 Free 46.89 03/19/22 2022 NCAA Championships
Atlanta, Georgia
scy 100 Back 48.74 03/18/22 2022 NCAA Championships
Atlanta, Georgia
scy 200 Back 1:50.13 01/18/19 2019 PN AP 43rd Annual Washington Open
Federal Way, Washington
lcm 50 Back 27.12 04/28/22 2022 World Championship Trials
Greensboro, North Carolina
lcm 100 Back 58.62 06/14/21 2021 Olympic Trials
Omaha, Nebraska
lcm 200 Back 2:09.76 06/18/21 2021 Olympic Trials
Omaha, Nebraska
scm 50 Back 25.88 12/17/21 2021 Short Course World Championships
Abu Dhabi, UAE
scm 100 Back 55.40 12/17/21 2021 Short Course World Championships
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Katharine Berkoff (photo: Jack Spitser) Katharine Berkoff (photo: Jack Spitser) Katharine Berkoff (photo: Jack Spitser) Katharine Berkoff (photo: Jack Spitser) Katharine Berkoff (photo: Jack Spitser) Katherine Berkoff (photo: Jack Spitser) Katharine Berkoff (photo: Jack Spitser)