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Montana's Katharine Berkoff named Girls' Swimming Athlete of the Year

Wednesday, April 17, 2019  
Posted by: Mattie Potter
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The National High School Coaches Association (“NHSCA”) is pleased to announce Katharine Berkoff of Hellgate High School in Missoula, Montana as its National Senior Girls’ Swimming Athlete of the Year.


Berkoff ended her scholastic career by setting two more records at the Montana state meet in the 100 backstroke and 100 freestyle. In all, Berkoff won 16 individual state titles during her career and never lost a race in her four years. She ranks 14th in the world in the 100 backstroke and she’s hoping to make the United States swim team for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. Berkoff’s dad, David, won four overall Olympic medals


As a senior, Berkoff was named the swimmer of the meet, setting new state records in both of her individual events. In the 100 freestyle, she won in 49.90 seconds, which broke her own record of 50.01 seconds that she set last season. In the 100 backstroke, she won in 52.40 seconds, which also broke her own record set last year in 52.80 seconds.


In December, Berkoff a set Speedo Junior Nationals meet record in the 100- and 200-yard backstroke. She also won the 100 freestyle and finished second in the 200 individual medley. 


“Katharine is an excellent example what this award stands for,” said Eric Hess, Executive Director of the NHSCA.  “She has excelled as much in the classroom as she has in the pool.  We congratulate Megan on an outstanding high school career and wish her success at North Carolina State University.”


Berkoff is the first Montana high school swimmer to ever win the NHSCA National Girls’ Swimming Athlete of the Year award.


During April, the NHSCA will be announcing the 2018-2019 Athlete of the Year honorees in 20 boys’ and girls’ sports. This marks the 20th consecutive year the NHSCA has honored achievers within the high school athletic community nationwide.


Each of the honorees will receive a beautiful plaque.  In addition, the Athlete of the Year honoree will be displayed in the National High School Digital Sports Hall of Fame that is currently under development.


Below are the NHSCA’s past selections for the Girls’ Swimming Athlete of the Year:

2018 – Zoe Bartel – Fossil Ridge HS - Colorado

2017 – Brooke Forde – Sacred Heart Academy - Kentucky

2016 – Beata Nelson – Vernona/Mount Horeb HS - Wisconsin

2015 – Katie Ledecky - Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, Maryland

2014 – Janet Hu – Oakton HS, Virginia

2013 – Missy Franklin – Regis Jesuit HS, Colorado

2012 – Bonnie Brandon – Cherry Creek HS, Colorado

2011 – Gretchen Jaques – Glendora HS, California

2010 – Emily Bos – Holland HS, Michigan

2009 – Mary Beck - Westlake HS, Texas

2008 – Michelle McKeehan – Center Grove HS, Indiana

2007 – Lauren English – Montville Twp. HS, New Jersey

2006 – Alexandra Clarke – Sunnyslope HS, Arizona

2005 – Hannah Smith – Dexter HS, Michigan

2004 – Rhiannon Jeffrey – Atlantic HS, Florida

2003 – Kara Lynn Joyce – Pioneer HS, Michigan

2002 – Mary Descenza – Rosary HS, Illinois

2001 – Kaitlin Sandeno – El Toro HS, California

2000 – Sara McLarty – Deland HS, Florida


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