Kate Bertko began rowing in 1999 at the Oakland Strokes Rowing Club in Oakland, California. The Princeton Tiger won gold in the varsity eight at the 2006 NCAA Championships. Bertko rowed in the heavyweight class and won silver in the quadruple sculls at the 2009 World Rowing Championships. She switched to lightweight competition in 2013 and found much success in the World Championships – winning silver in the lightweight double sculls in 2013. In 2014 and 2015, Bertko won bronze in the lightweight single sculls at Worlds. On April 24, Bertko qualified for the Rio Games after winning the 2016 U.S. Olympic Rowing Team Trials with lightweight double sculls teammate Devery Karz.