Cal Freshman Natalie Coughlin Named 2001 NCAA Swimmer of the Year.

March 17, 2001

EAST MEADOW, NY - California freshman swimming sensation Natalie Coughlin was named the 2001 NCAA Swimmer of the Year as she won another NCAA title in the third and final day of the 2001 NCAA Championship in East Meadow, NY. Coughlin broke the NCAA, American and U.S. Open record in the 200 back with a time of 1:51.02.

Coughlin finished the NCAA Championship winning national titles and setting NCAA records in all three individual events she entered. On Friday, she won the NCAA title in the 100 fly with an NCAA record time of 51.18, topping the former record mark of 51.34 set by Stanford's Misty Hyman 1998. Coughlin defeated Hyman in this year's NCAAs.

Coughlin then won the NCAA title in the 100 back with an NCAA record, American record and U.S. Open record time of 51.23 again surpassing Misty Hyman's old record time of 51.66. And, just like in the 100 fly, Coughlin defeated Hyman at this year's NCAA meet.

Coughlin was also a member of two Bear relays that were national runner-ups. Cal placed second nationally in both the 400 medley relay and the 200 free relay. The Bears 400 medley relay team of senior Haley Cope, sophomore Staciana Stitts, freshman Natalie Coughlin and freshman Danielle Becks, despite finishing second, still broke the American record and established a new top Cal mark with a time of 3:34.83. The old record was 3:35.37 set by Georgia in 1998 (Stanford won with time of 3:32.43).

The Bears 200 free relay team of sophomore Michelle Harper, Coughlin, junior Adrienne Mattos and Cope broke the Cal school record with a time of 1:30.05 (old mark was 1:30.69 set in 1999).

Cope, the 2000 Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year and the 2001 Pac-10 champion in the 50 and 100 free, placed second in the NCAA's 50 free with a time of 22.34, trailing only Colleen Lanne of Texas (21.99).

As a team, Cal finished seventh at NCAA meet with 248 points.

Complete results of the NCAA Women's Swimming Championship can be found at www.ncaachampionship.com.

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