ATLANTA, Ga., January 17. KATIE Hoff is eminently beatable. Just ask Morgan Scroggy.
In the finals of the 100 yard butterfly at the Eastern Classic here last night in the Dynamos' Chamblee Pool, 16-year-old Scroggy — who swims for the Tualatin Hills Thunderbolts team in Oregon — went a pr and club-record 53.61 to win over Hoff's 54.22. Hoff, the 15-year-old North Baltimore AC Olympian who set 15-16 national age-group records at last month's Christmas Invitational at Annapolis in the 200-400 yard Individual Medleys (1:56.70-4:05.74), came close to breaking both standards here but missed by a couple of tenths in each.
In the 200, Hoff's 1:56.94 is the second-best performance ever. In the 400, she also splashed to the race's second-quickest time ever by a 15-16 girl, an 11-second win over King's Ariana Kukors. Kukors, who came all the way from Seattle to challenge Katie, is another fast-improving 15-year-old who clocked 4:16.32 to Hoff's winning 4:05.82 — ninth-fastest performance all-time.
Kukors won the 200 back and 200 breast events in prs of 1:59.00/2:15.71. She also went a pr 2:00.41 for runner-up in the shorter medley. Her older sister Adriana, a former Washington state prep champion, is a freshman for Coach David Marsh's triple-defending NCAA Division 1 champ Auburn Tigers.
Hoff got "revenge" for her fly loss, however, in the 200 free where she took the measure of Scroggy with a 1:46.28-1:49.21 win. Her pr is 1:46.05 from last month.
Hoff went one pr, however, as she stopped the timing sytem in 1:02.23 to win the 100 breast — .03 quicker than her old career-best. Further displaying her versatility, she won the 50 free, the 100 free (50.14 with a 49.13 anchor split on NBAC's winning 400 sprint relay), the 500 free (4:43.93), and the 200 fly (pool-record 1:56.40) in addition to her IM wins.
Her 200 fly time is about a second and-a-half off her pr 1:54.94 from the holiday meet at the Naval Academy, which is the 25th-fastest performance ever. That swim is also not too far off the 15-16 NAG record of 1:52.99 by Madame Butterfly herself, former Lakeside Swim Club and Cal star Mary T. Meagher, a triple Olympic gold-medalist 21 years ago at Los Angeles (both flys, 400 medley relay). T. held the world 100-200 fly records for over 20 years.
The Eastern Classic is likely Hoff's last major short course meet of the season with her focus now on the U.S. World Championship Trials beginning April 1 in Indianapolis. However, Potomac Valey Swimming has several significant yards meets slated for late March and early April, so Hoff may compete there too.