ANNAPOLIS, Maryland, December 15. THE incomparable Katie Hoff put an emphatic punctuation mark on the North Baltimore Aquatic Club Christmas Invitational last Sunday. Following up on four individual victories during the first two days of action, Hoff capped her weekend with impressive swims in the 200 distances of the butterfly and backstroke.
In the 200 fly, the 16-year-old touched the wall in 1:55.54, but only a precursor to the 1:54.92 she popped in the 200 back. Both of those individual decisions were followed by a splendid leadoff on NBAC’s winning 400 freestyle relay. Rounding out her one-woman show, Hoff covered her 100 yards of freestyle in a spectacular 48.82.
Prior to winning the 200 fly and 200 back, Hoff secured victories in the 200 and 500 freestyles, along with the 200 and 400 individual medley events. In the medley disciplines, Hoff lowered her own 15-and-16 age-group standards with times of 1:55.91 and 4:03.46, respectively. Her 200 free mark was a sizzling 1:44.50 and her 500 free arrived in a splendid effort of 4:38.89.
Hoff’s year has been nothing short of phenomenal. Before her exploits at the NBAC Christmas Invitational, the youngster won a pair of individual titles (200 I.M./400 I.M.) at the World Championships in Montreal, taking the shorter race in American-record time. At the World Champs, Hoff also helped the United States to a gold-medal outing. The year also included Hoff turning professional by signing with Octagon, the same firm that represents Michael Phelps.