Katharine Berkoff Wins Gold, Breaks WUGs Record in 100 Back Again – 59.29



  1. Katharine Berkoff (USA), 59.29
  2. Elise Haan (USA), 59.62
  3. Silvia Scalia (ITA), 1:00.43

Original Reporting from Eamonn Keenan:

NC State’s Elise Haan was out ahead of her teammate and the newly-minted meet record holder Katharine Berkoff, and looked solid heading through the turn. Berkoff had a massive underwater, however, that propelled herself to the lead merely after surfacing.

Berkoff never looked back after the turn, eventually crashing into the wall in another personal best time of 59.29, lowering the meet record down from her 59.57 from the preliminary heats. Haan also recorded a lifetime best of 59.62 for the runner-up spot, completing the American 1-2. The Napoli crowd roared for Silvia Scalia, the Italian national that finished third with a 1:00.43 final time.

Katharine Berkoff led a 1-2 punch for the USA in the women’s 100 back finals today. Berkoff had broken the WUGs Championship Record in prelims with a new PB of 59.57. She again lowered b0th the WUGs mark and her personal best in finals, speeding to a 59.29. She has now moved up to 10th all-time for Americans, and 4th all-time for 17-18s.

For those keeping track, Berkoff’s father, David, who was a revolutionary swimmer in his generation, never won World University Games gold individually – his best finish was silver in the 100 back in 1987.

Top 10 Americans All-Time:

  1. 58.00 – Baker, Kathleen – 2018 Summer Nationals
  2. 58.33 – Franklin, Missy – 2012 Olympic Games
  3. 58.45 – Smith, Regan – 2019 IN ISI Counsilman Classic
  4. 58.73 – Smoliga, Olivia – 2019 TYR Pro Swim Series #3 – Richmond
  5. 58.94 – Hall, Natalie – 2008 Olympic Games
  6. 59.10 – Bootsma, Rachel – USA Olympic Team Trials
  7. 59.11 – McGregory, Hayley – 2008 U. S. Open
  8. 59.12 – Bacon, Phoebe – 2018 Summer Nationals
  9. 59.27 – Pelton, Elizabeth – 2013 USA National Champs
  10. 59.29 – Katharine Berkoff – 2019 World University Games

Here is the breakdown of Berkoff’s 3 swims at WUGs over the past two days:

First 50 28.75 29.14 28.58
Second 50 30.54 30.43 31.24
Final time 59.29 59.57 59.82

Berkoff seems to have found a happy medium in her finals swim, compared to the prelims and semis. In prelims, Berkoff went out the slowest of her 3 swims, and in finals she went out the fastest, but came home the slowest. In finals, Berkoff managed to go out faster than she did in prelims, and still come home faster than she did in semis.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

The silly thing here is that a 59.29 is only 10th all-time for an American when I can remember Natalie breaking 1:00 min for the first time in history

Steve Nolan
Reply to  MICHAEL
1 year ago

comment image

1 year ago

Congratulations to Coach Jay Friend and Missoula Aquatics! It has been fun watching Jay and Katharine work together.

1 year ago

Go PACK!!!