Cal's Natalie Coughlin Wins Honda Sports Award For Swimming

April 1, 2002

BERKELEY, CA - Natalie Coughlin, a sophomore swimmer at Cal, has been named the recipient of the 2001-02 Honda Sports Award for swimming and diving. This honor, given annually to the nation's top collegiate female swimmer, automatically nominates her for the Honda-Broderick Cup to be presented to the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year at a banquet to be held June 17, 2002 in Dallas.

Coughlin joins four other athletes who are in contention for the Honda-Broderick Cup -- Tara Chaplin of Arizona for cross country, Logan Tom of Stanford for volleyball, Aly Wagner of Santa Clara for soccer and Autumn Welsh of Maryland for field hockey. Twelve athletes total will be in the running for the Honda-Broderick Cup.

Coughlin, two-time NCAA Swimmer of the Year, is also one of five finalists for the AAU James E. Sullivan Memorial Award as the nation's top amateur athlete. The winner of the Sullivan Award will be announced on April 9 at The New York Athletic Club.

In her most recent competition, March 21-23 at the 2002 NCAA championships in Austin, Texas, Coughlin was simply spectacular in earning NCAA Swimmer of the Year honors for the second year in a row. She won three individual national titles, breaking NCAA, American and U.S. Open records in all three events. Coughlin won the 100 backstroke (49.97, first woman to swim under 50 seconds), the 200 backstroke (1:49.52) and the 100 butterfly (50.01). She also broke the NCAA, American and U.S. Open record in the 100 freestyle, swimming a time of 47.47 as the lead-off leg of the Bears 400 freestyle relay.

Coughlin joins Mary T. Meagher as Cal swimmers who have won the Honda Sports Award. Meagher earned the honor following the 1984-85 and 1986-87 seasons. Coughlin is the first Bear women's swimmer since Meagher to win six individual national titles, as well.

For more information on The Honda Sports Awards, contact Tora Grossman at 858-755-3877, 858-481-3484 or toragrossman@msn.com.

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