Less is More for Berkoff as Sprint Training Pays Dividends


Reported by Anne Lepesant.


  • World Record: 26.98 – Xiang Liu (2018)
  • American Record: 27.33 – Olivia Smoliga (2019)
  • US Open Record: 27.40 – Regan Smith (2022)
  • Jr World Record: 27.49 – Minna Atherton (2016)
  • FINA “A” Cut: 28.22
  • SwimSwam Preview – W50 Back


  1. Katharine Berkoff, NC State – 27.12
  2. Regan Smith, Unattached – 27.25
  3. Olivia Smoliga, Sun Devils – 27.33
  4. Rhyan White, Alabama – 27.45
  5. Gretchen Walsh, Virginia – 27.78
  6. Kylee Alons, NCA State – 28.16
  7. Erika Brown, Tennessee Aquatics – 28.24
  8. Berit Berglund, Carmel Swim Club – 28.44

The ink had barely dried on the new U.S. Open Record that Regan Smith set in prelims when the championship final of the 50 back started. Smith, in lane 4, and Katharine Berkoff in lane 5, traded stroke for stroke in the middle lanes, with Olivia Smoliga and Rhyan White just a tick behind.

When the waves settled at the finish, both Berkoff and Smith eclipsed Smith’s prelims mark of 27.40. Berkoff went 27.12 to claim the American Record and the U.S. Open Record and become the first- and third-ranked 50 backstrokers in the world for the current season.

Olivia Smoliga, who had set the American Record with 27.33 in 2019, tied her old mark with a third-place finish. Rhyan White came in fourth with 27.45. Smoliga and White currently rank fourth and sixth in the world.

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9 months ago

Ngl, kinda simping here. Love berkoff

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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