Katharine Berkoff Continues Family Legacy With Sub-50 NCAA Title

NC State sophomore Katharine Berkoff kept the ball rolling for the Wolfpack on Friday night at the 2021 NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina with her first time under 50 seconds in the 100 backstroke at 49.74. Berkoff used a big last turn to kick away from Alabama’s Rhyan White to win her first individual NCAA title in her career, backing up her 400 medley relay win last night. This isn’t the first NCAA title for the Berkoff family and not even the first in the event as father David won two 100 back NCAA titles at Harvard in 1987 and 1989.

This is the second win for the Wolfpack on the night as Berkoff followed 100 breast champ Sophie Hansson and also became the first NC State woman to win this event at NCAAs as the Wolfpack are looking for their first top four finish at NCAAs and currently sit second. Berkoff is now fourth all-time in the 100 backstroke, just slipping past Michigan’s Maggie MacNeil after her 49.76 last night in leading off the 400 medley relay.

“I have been wanting this for so long, it is a relief to finally do it,” Katharine Berkoff said after the race.

Alabama’s White got agonizingly close to the 50 second barrier yet again with a 50.21 for second place as she has been as fast as a 50.02 this season. White just got out of the 100 butterfly where she was fifth as Cal junior Izzy Ivey was also in that butterfly final and finished fourth here at 50.85 behind Wisconsin freshman Phoebe Bacon (50.39).

Cal closed the gap on Texas for third with freshman Isabelle Stadden in fifth at 50.87 while Longhorn junior Julia Cook was sixth at 51.32.

North Carolina’s Grace Countie (51.55) and Virginia’s Caroline Gmelich (51.78) also swam in the championship final.

All-Time Rankings:

  1. 49.16, Regan Smith, Riptide, 2021
  2. 49.18, Beata Nelson, Wisconsin, 2019
  3. 49.69, Ally Howe, Stanford, 2017
  4. 49.74, Katharine Berkoff, NC State, 2021
  5. 49.76, Maggie MacNeil, Michigan, 2021
  6. 49.80, Kathleen Baker, California, 2017
  7. 49.93, Janet Hu, Stanford, 2018
  8. 49.97, Natalie Coughlin, California, 2002

 Event 12  Women 100 Yard Backstroke
=========================================================================
         NCAA: N 49.18  3/22/2019 Beata Nelson, Wisconsin
         Meet: M 49.18  3/22/2019 Beata Nelson, Wisconsin
     American: A 49.16  3/14/2021 Regan Smith, Riptide
      US Open: O 49.16  3/14/2021 Regan Smith, Riptide
         Pool: P 49.76  3/18/2021 Maggie MacNeil, Michigan
    Name                 Year School            Prelims     Finals Points 
=========================================================================
                       === Championship Final ===                        
 
  1 Berkoff, Katharine     SO NC State            50.16      49.74P  20  
    r:+0.54  24.07        49.74 (25.67)
  2 White, Rhyan           JR Alabama             50.16      50.21   17  
             23.99        50.21 (26.22)
  3 Bacon, Phoebe          FR Wisconsin           50.58      50.39   16  
    r:+0.59  24.38        50.39 (26.01)
  4 Ivey, Isabel           JR California          51.09      50.85   15  
    r:+0.73  24.56        50.85 (26.29)
  5 Stadden, Isabelle      FR California          51.18      50.87   14  
    r:+0.60  24.57        50.87 (26.30)
  6 Cook, Julia            JR Texas               51.19      51.32   13  
    r:+0.66  24.64        51.32 (26.68)
  7 Countie, Grace         JR UNC                 51.42      51.55   12  
    r:+0.74  24.67        51.55 (26.88)
  8 Gmelich, Caroline      SR Virginia            51.43      51.78   11  
    r:+0.61  24.90        51.78 (26.88)
 
                        === Consolation Final ===                        
 
  9 Tiltmann, Reilly       FR Virginia            52.08      51.33    9  
    r:+0.73  24.98        51.33 (26.35)
 10 Thompson, Sarah        SR Missouri            51.72      51.41    7  
             24.51        51.41 (26.90)
 11 Atkinson, Emma         FR Virginia Tech       51.84      51.65    6  
    r:+0.76  24.81        51.65 (26.84)
 12 Crane, Emily           JR Ohio St             52.25      51.91    5  
    r:+0.69  24.97        51.91 (26.94)
 13 Lindner, Sophie        JR UNC                 51.56      51.95    4  
    r:+0.67  25.07        51.95 (26.88)
 14 Rees, Meredith         SO Missouri            52.25      52.00    3  
    r:+0.76  25.13        52.00 (26.87)
 15 Shuppert, Emma         SO Duke                51.89      52.38    2  
    r:+0.64  25.09        52.38 (27.29)
 16 Bray, Olivia           FR Texas               52.26      52.64    1  
    r:+0.74  25.37        52.64 (27.27)
Women - Team Rankings - Through Event 12                 
 
  1. Virginia                          310   2. NC State                          201
  3. Texas                             186   4. California                        180
  5. Ohio St                         142.5   6. Alabama                           129
  7. Michigan                        125.5   8. Kentucky                          114
  9. Stanford                          112  10. Georgia                           109
 11. UNC                                77  12. Louisville                         71
 13. Florida                          70.5  14. Tennessee                          70
 15. Missouri                           65  16. Northwestern                       52
 16. Texas A&M                          52  18. Indiana                            47
 19. Wisconsin                          39  20. Southern California                38
 21. Virginia Tech                      28  22. Miami                              20
 22. Minnesota                          20  24. Arizona                          17.5
 25. Arkansas                           16  26. Nebraska                           11
 27. San Diego St                        6  27. Houston                             6
 29. Duke                                4  30. Akron                               3
 30. Notre Dame                          3