Katharine Berkoff Swims New Best Time in the 50 Free Three Weeks from Trials

2023 Andrew E Hartle Invite

  • June 2-4, 2023
  • Greensboro Aquatic Center, Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Long Course Meters (50 meters), Timed Finals
  • Meet Results

The NC State Wolfpack made the short drive to Greensboro last weekend to race at the 2023 Andrew E Hartle Invitational.

The program’s newest postgrad star, Rhyan White, wasn’t among the swimmers participating, but many of the other recognizable names were in attendance. That includes White’s new backstroke training partner, and American Record holder, Katharine Berkoff.

Berkoff won the 50 free (25.51), 100 free (55.40), and 100 back (59.03), and also swam the 200 backstroke for a 50 meter split (28.80) before cooling down the rest of the race. The 50 free was a new personal best for her, shaving .01 seconds off her time from a similarly-timed meet in 2022.

While she still isn’t swimming the long course sprint freestyles in big championship meets, it did become a fixture on her collegiate schedule at NC State. She said in an interview earlier this year that she’s trying to add the sprint freestyles to her repertoire going forward.

It took a time of 25.31 to advance to the A-finals at last year’s US International Team Trials, which seems within range for Berkoff after 25.51 two weeks out, but it took 24.59 to make the team.

The NC State men’s distance group also put up some good foreshadowing swims in the 800 free. Will Gallant won in 7:58.99 and Ross Dant was 2nd in 7:59.38. Besides being Olympic Trials cuts for both, the times would have ranked them each 7th at last year’s International Team Trials.

Gallant’s time, for its part, was five seconds better than he was at those Trials – though he’d go 7:53 later in the summer at US Nationals. He’s the 2023 NCAA Champion in the 1650 free.

Other Notable Results:

  • In her first long course swim in almost a year, Abby Arens swam 59.50 in the 100 fly to secure her Olympic Trials cut. In her last swim in that event, in July 2022, she swam her best time of 59.04. Arens also swam 57.57 in the 100 free and 1:09.77 in the 100 breast last weekend.
  • IM’er Grace Sheble focused on breaststroke last weekend, swimming the 100 in a best time of 1:10.60 and the 200 in 2:34.95. She also swam the 400 IM, a race where she was 5th at NCAAs, in 4:50.46.
  • After just one season with the Wolfpack,  Kennedy Noble is showing huge long course progress already in the 10 weeks since the NCAA Championships. On Saturday, she swam a best time of 1:00.83 in the 100 back. That follows best times in the 100 fly (1:01.98), 200 IM (2:16.68), and 400 IM (4:57.28) from two different meets in May.
  • Luke Miller knocked on the door of his personal best in the 100 fly. He swam 52.65 last weekend, which is about six-tenths slower than he went at the US Open in December. That’s in spite of being about a second off his best in the 100 free last weekend. By the transitive math of swimming, that implies his first 51-second swim is incoming at Trials in two weeks.
  • NCAA 200 fly champion Aiden Hayes swam 53.64 in the 100 and 2:03.69 in the 200 last weekend. That means he’s got some big work to do for taper still, but he has a history of dropping big times at big meets (like the 1.5 he dropped from ACCs to NCAAs to take that title in March).
  • David Curtiss swam 22.44 in the 50 free and 52.75 in the 100 free. With Dressel’s status still unknown, he has a big opportunity later this month for a spot on the Worlds team, with the Pan Am Games or European U23 in play as well.
  • From the junior ranks, Kaidy Stout of Enfinity Aquatic Club swam best times in the 100 free (1:12.28), 100 back (1:24.10), 100 breast (1:17.91), 200 breast (2:41.61), and 200 IM (2:46.59). The 14-year-old ranked 3rd in that 200 breast behind only a pair of NC State swimmers. She also now ranks 16th nationally this season in the 200 breast.
  • Hunter Tapp swam 2:01.42 in the 200 back. He was 4th in that event at Trials last year (1:56.79), which this year would get him on a team to somewhere, but a lot of his chief challengers have been putting up much-better times since NCAAs. That includes, for example, Georgia’s Ian Grum, who swam a best time of 1:57.14 a week earlier.
  • Tapp’s teammate JT Ewing won the race last weekend in 2:00.76; his best is 1:59.19 from NCSAs last summer. He’s an 18-year-old who just wrapped his first season with the Wolfpack, and who also swam a personal best in the 100 free of 51.94.

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Sherry Smit
3 months ago

We are in for a treat at this year’s trials in the 100 back. Smith, Curzan, White, Berkoff, Bacon, Smoliga, Wanezek. maybe even SIMS?!?!.

Backstroke Stan
3 months ago

Go Katherine!! I’m hoping she has a good season

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Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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