Katharine Berkoff, Sophie Hansson Explain What Sets NC State Training Apart

2021 NCAA WOMEN’S SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

Reported by Nick Pecoraro.

100 BREAST FINALS

  • NCAA Record: Lilly King (Indiana), 55.73 — 2019
  • American Record: Lilly King (Indiana), 55.73 — 2019
  • US Open Record: Lilly King (Indiana), 55.73 — 2019
  • Meet Record: Lilly King (Indiana), 55.73 — 2019
  • 2019 Champion: Lilly King (Indiana), 55.73
  • 2020 Top Performer: Sophie Hansson (NC State), 57.74

Top 3:

  1. Sophie Hansson (NC State)- 57.23 *ACC Record
  2. Kaitlyn Dobler (USC)- 57.46
  3. Alexis Wenger (Virginia)- 57.67

After five swimmers were at or under 27.2 at the first 50, NC State’s Sophie Hansson and her competitive stroke pulled ahead of the field to win the 100 breast with an ACC conference record of 57.23. Hansson now ranks 3rd all-time in the event, now tied with Olympian Breeja Larson and faster than Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson.

Placing second was USC freshman Kaitlyn Dobler, touching in at 57.46, making her the 6th-fastest US performer all-time. Placing third for Virginia was junior Alexis Wenger, hitting 57.67.

100 BACK FINALS

  • NCAA Record: Beata Nelson (Wisconsin), 2019 – 49.18
  • American Record: Regan Smith, 2021 – 49.16
  • U.S. Open Record: Regan Smith, 2021 – 49.16
  • Meet Record: Beata Nelson (Wisconsin), 2019 – 49.18
  • 2019 Champion: Beata Nelson (Wisconsin) – 49.18
  • 2020 Top Performer: Beata Nelson (Wisconsin), 49.70

Top 3:

  1. Katharine Berkoff (NC State)- 49.74 *Pool/ACC Record
  2. Rhyan White (Alabama)- 50.21
  3. Phoebe Bacon (Wisconsin)- 50.39

Katharine Berkoff and Rhyan White were neck-and-neck until the final turn, where Berkoff’s underwater boosted her ahead of White, who was coming off a 5th-place finish in the 100 fly. Berkoff then broke 50 seconds for the first time at 49.74, breaking the Greensboro pool record and ACC conference record. Berkoff is now the 4th-fastest US performer in the 100 back, faster than Olympians Kathleen Baker (49.80) and Natalie Coughlin (49.97). Berkoff’s father, Olympian David Berkoff, won the 100-yard back at the 1987 and 1989 NCAA Championships representing Harvard.

Taking second was Alabama’s White, finishing at 50.21. Her lifetime best of 50.02 from the 2020 SEC Championships is now 9th all-time in US history. Nabbing third place for Wisconsin was freshman Phoebe Bacon at 50.39, moving up from 21st to 15th all-time in US history.

200 MEDLEY RELAY TIMED FINALS

  • NCAA Record: Virginia, 1:32.93 – 2021
  • American Record: Virginia, 1:32.93 – 2021
  • U.S. Open Record: Virginia, 1:32.93 – 2021
  • Meet Record: Stanford, 1:33.11 – 2018
  • 2019 Champion: Tennessee, 1:34.10
  • 2020 Top Performer: Virginia, 1:33.91

Top 3:

  1. NC State- 1:33.18
  2. Virginia- 1:34.13
  3. Ohio State- 1:34.96

Sophomore Katharine Berkoff had one of the fastest 50 backs of the entire field at 23.27, almost six-tenths faster than any other backstoker in that heat. Michigan’s Maggie MacNeil had the fastest back split at 23.17, which is the 2nd-fastest split in history behind her own 23.05. Michigan placed 16th at 1:37.37.

NC State was untouchable after Berkoff’s stellar lead-off, propelling Sophie Hansson (25.92), Sirena Rowe (22.73), and Kylee Alons (21.26) to the 3rd-fastest 200 medley relay in history at 1:33.18, just 0.07s off the 2018 meet record of 1:33.11.

Virginia took second place at 1:34.13, powered by Kate Douglass‘ 21.19 anchor leg. Sneaking in third place was Ohio State at 1:34.96, just two one-hundredths faster than Cal (1:34.98).

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About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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