Katharine Berkoff Swims #4 Time In NCAA With 1:50.94 200 Backstroke Against UNCW

NC State vs UNCW

NC State hosted UNCW on Friday. The NC State men won 172-104 while the women won 181-89.

Women’s Recap

In her only swim of the meet Katharine Berkoff had a huge swim to win the women’s 200 backstroke swimming a time of a 1:50.94. That time makes her the 4th fastest in the NCAA this season. Berkoff won the 100 back at 2022 NCAAs and was 2nd in the event last year behind Gretchen Walsh. Berkoff usually swims the 100 free on the final day of ACCs and NCAAs. Last NCAAs, she was 5th in the 100 free.

Abby Arens highlighted the meet for NC State winning the 50 free in a 22.31 and the 200 breast in a 2:11.31. Arens also helped the team’s 200 medley relay to a win. The relay of Miriam Sheehan, Arens, Tyler Driscoll, and Meghan Donald swam to a final time of a 1:36.99.

Yara Kierath also won two individual events for the Wolfpack. Hierath won the 200 free in a 1:48.51 and the 200 IM in a 2:01.37. She won the 200 IM by a second over teammate Caroline Sheble (2:02.68) who was exhibition.

Emma Hastings won the 500 free in a 4:41.51. That was a season best and now ranks her at #28 in the NCAA this season.

Despite not winning any individual events, the UNCW women had some notable swims. Cameron Snowden swam a personal best time in the 50 free with a 22.82 to finish third. She also was second in the 100 fly as she touched in a 53.87.

Colonial Atheltic Association runner-up in both breaststroke events last year, Gil Shaw finished second in both breaststrokes at this meet. Shaw swam a 1:02.03 in the 100 and a 2:15.84 in the 200. She swam a personal best in the 200 IM with a 2:03.63.

Other event winners:

Men’s Recap

Highlighting the men’s side was Noah Bowers who set a new pool record in the 200 fly swimming a 1:41.26. Bowers now sits at #10 in the NCAA this season in the event. Bowers was 2nd in the event at 2023 ACCs and went on to finish 6th in the event at NCAAs.

Also breaking a pool record was Conall Monahan of NC State who swam a 1:55.54 in the 200 breast. That swim ranks him at #46 in the NCAA this season.

New arrival Daniel Diehl won two events for the Wolfpack. Diehl won the 100 breast in a 53.24 and the 100 free in a 43.33. Diehl’s 100 breaststroke was a personal best time.

NC State’s Lance Norris swam a personal best time in the 500 free to win the event. Norris touched the wall in a 4:17.00, faster than his previous best of a 4:17.13 which he swam at midseason.

Aiden Hayes led off NC State’s 200 medley relay in a 20.58. The relay went on to win in a 1:23.94. Hayes has been faster this year as he swam a 20.36 in practice suited up. Although it may not have been an official time, touchpads were used so it is accurate. Hayes showed consistency with his swim here.

Mac Russell of UNCW finished 2nd in the men’s 100 free swimming a season best time of a 44.56. Russell also had another big swim in the 50 free swimming personal best time of a 20.20.

Other event winners:

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mds
3 months ago

Some fine swims in a meet between two un-equal powers, making me think there was a mix of suited/unsuited swims.

What to me was pretty clearly the most outstanding swim of the meet was not mentioned in the article.

Leadoff for the NCState men was Aiden Hayes with a :20.57 50 SCY Backstroke, a split surpassed in last year’s NCAA final by only Stokowski(NCState :20.36), Chaney (Florida :20.38), Seeliger (Cal :20.29) and Lowe (Louisville :20.58). The only times this year faster than this Hayes swim against UNC-W have been Seeliger (:20.22 v ASU) and Lasco(Cal :20.53 at fall invite).

Coach Holloway will be faced with a pretty tough decison on every leg of his defending National Champion squad.

Back… Read more »

Andrew
Reply to  mds
3 months ago

Where’s the hard decision?

Seems pretty clear that it’s

hayes/hoover/stowkowski/mccarthy at this point. Can switch Stowkowski and Hayes as they’re basically the same at this point in back/fly

Another year where NCS is held back by not having a breaststroke leg

Breezeway
Reply to  Andrew
3 months ago

You do know they are the defending 200Med Relay champs?

Queens
Reply to  Breezeway
3 months ago

Coach Holloway has yet to ask me my opinion on the relay order and at this point it’s concerning.

Andrew
Reply to  Breezeway
3 months ago

They had a one year rental of Mason Hunter (a bandaid for their breaststroke woes) and an all time split from Korstanje who is now gone.

Hard to see them winning 2 med again

Riley
Reply to  mds
3 months ago

There’s decisions to be made, but in my eyes, back still seems like it belongs to Stokowski. Let’s not forget he was going 44 lows all season when Hayes was hitting 46s. His season reminds me of Stewart’s from a few years ago before covid robbed of us of NCAAs.

Fly for them seems like a tossup between Hayes, Henderson and Miller. Hayes is actually starting to remind me of another Wolfpack 200 fly NCAA champ in Andreas Vazaios. Has a mean 50 back despite 200 fly being their primary but without that same raw speed in the 50 fly. I remember Vazaios would open his 200 IM in high 22s two days before dropping a 1:38 in fly.… Read more »

Klorn8d
3 months ago

Feel like this would be her best chance at a ncaa title. Don’t see her beating Gretchen in either 100, even if she swims super fast in both

USA
Reply to  Klorn8d
3 months ago

She’d have to drop nearly 3 seconds from that time to be considered a strong favorite. I’d say Bacon, Stadden, and Sims (if she swims it) are the favorites for now, who have all been 1:48. Also, don’t see why NC State would put her in the 200 back when they already have Noble who has top-3 potential (2:06 LC), and they don’t have any other sprint freestylers with scoring potential.

Klorn8d
Reply to  USA
3 months ago

All good points. I just think stadden, bacon and sims are beatable in the 200 back. I don’t feel like Walsh is beatable in either 100. (Obviously everyone is beatable but you know what I mean)

ACC fan
3 months ago

Love her fun playful, yet serious style, at meets. This pic speaks to that. She had the best walk out video of all time at a big meet! Totally not afraid to make fun of herself. But when it’s time to race, look out!

About Anya Pelshaw

Anya Pelshaw

Anya has been with SwimSwam since June 2021 as both a writer and social media coordinator. She was in attendance at the 2022 and 2023 Women's NCAA Championships writing and doing social media for SwimSwam. Currently, Anya is pursuing her B.A. in Economics and a minor in Government & Law at …

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