2022 U.S. WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TRIALS
- April 26-30, 2022
- Greensboro, NC
- Greensboro Aquatic Center
- LCM (50m)
- Start Times: Prelims – 9 am ET / Finals – 6 pm ET
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Barely a month after setting the American and US Open Records in the 100 yard backstroke at NCAAs as part of the NC State Wolfpack, 21 year-old Katharine Berkoff repeated the feat in the 50m back tonight.
Swimming in lane five in a stacked A-final, Berkoff blasted a 27.12, getting her hand on the wall first as three three different women beat or equaled the existing records.
Interestingly enough, Berkoff’s swim tonight broke records belonging to each of those two women. Smoliga previously held the American Record (fastest time ever by a U.S. swimmer) with a time of 27.33 that she swam at the 2019 World Championships. Smith previously held the U.S. Open record (fastest time on U.S. soil), which she set just this morning.
Before this morning, Smoliga had held that record too, with a 27.43 from a 2018 Pro Swim Series stop.
All-Time U.S. Performers, Women’s 50 Backstroke (LCM)
- Katharine Berkoff (NCS), 27.12 – 2022 U.S. Trials
- Regan Smith (UN), 27.25 – 2022 U.S. Trials
- Olivia Smoliga (USA), 27.33 – 2019 World Championships / 2022 U.S. Trials
- Rhyan White (USA), 27.45 – 2022 U.S. Trials
- Kathleen Baker (USA), 27.48 – 2017 World Championships
- Natalie Coughlin (CAL), 27.51 – 2015 Pro Swim – Santa Clara
- Hannah Stevens (UMIZ), 27.63 – 2017 Summer Nationals
- Rachel Bootsma (CAL), 27.68 – 2013 Summer Nationals
- Gretchen Walsh (UVA), 27.78 – 2022 U.S. Trials
- Ali DeLoof (CW), 27.79 – 2018 Summer Nationals
Berkoff now also appears to the 5th-fastest swimmer ever in the event:
With her swim tonight, Berkoff should secure a spot on the Worlds team. 50 stroke swimmers are added to the roster after the top two finishers in each individual Olympic event (and the 3rd and 4th place finishers in the 100/200 freestyles), subject to a roster cap of 26 swimmers per gender.
While Berkoff’s father, David Berkoff, swam at two Olympic Games, set world records, and won two Olympic gold medals, Katharine is in line to do something he never did – swim at the World Championships. While those are typically held every two years now, they transitioned from a once every four years event during the senior Berkoff’s peak, with no World Champs occurring between 1986 and 1991.