MISSOULA — Missoula Hellgate grad Katharine Berkoff earned the first international title of her young career after winning the 100-meter backstroke at the World University Games in Naples, Italy, on Sunday. 

Berkoff set a meet record at 59.29 seconds, besting her own mark and record of 59.57 which she accomplished in the prelims just a day earlier on Saturday. 

The 59.29 is also a new personal best for Berkoff.

Berkoff outlasted future college teammate Elise Haan of the United States, who took second in the event. Silvia Scalia of Italy was third. Both Berkoff and Haan are bound for North Carolina State in the fall. 

Berkoff also tied for fourth in the 50-meter backstroke in 28.57 seconds at the Games on Tuesday. 

Back in April, Berkoff was named the National High School Coaches Association girls swimming athlete of the year. 

Berkoff recently wrapped up her high school swimming career as a 16-time individual champion and helped lead the Knights to four state team titles and extend their championship streak to six. She told 406mtsports.com back in February that her current goal is to qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. 

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