Cal Visits Georgia, Clemson
Oct. 29, 2002
BEARS VISIT GEORGIA: The Cal women's swimming and diving team (1-0) travels to Athens, Ga. this weekend to compete against the Lady Bulldogs Friday, Nov.1 and take on Clemson Saturday, Nov. 2. This weekend marks the final away meets for the Golden Bears for awhile, as the team returns to the Bay Area for swimming competition in San Jose against San Jose State and Oregon State, Nov. 15.
LAST COMPETITION: Cal split its squad last weekend and competed at the Southern Methodist Classic in Dallas, Tex. And the Pacific Invitational in Stockton, Calif. At the SMU Classic, the Bears finished in second place with 310.5 points, behind host SMU's 347 points. Junior Natalie Coughlin earned the High Point Swimmer Award, after breaking three meet records and two pool records. Coughlin's victories came in the 100-yard backstroke (54.53), 200 back (1:57.38), 100 butterfly (52.99) and 200 fly (1:56.44). Senior Staciana Stitts won the 100 breaststroke (1:02.49) and was runner-up in the 200 breast (2:15.11). Junior Natalie Griffith placed second in the 400 individual medley (4:21.83) and freshman Ashley Chandler was runner-up in the 500 freestyle (4:51.88). The 400 medley relay team, comprised of freshman Helen Silver, Stitts, Coughlin and junior Danielle Becks, won with a time of 3:43.35. The 400 and 800 free relay teams were runner-up in its events, finishing with times of 3:25.57 and 7:30.73 respectively. At the Pacific Invitational, the Bears were spectacular, placing first at the meet with 852 points. Sophomore Amy Ng was the meet's highest-point winner for Division I. Ng won the 200 IM (2:07.14) and 400 IM (4:28.43)-an event in which Cal swept the first five finishes-and claimed first in the 200 back (2:05.75). Sophomores Lauren Medina, Lisa Morelli and Marcelle Miller also won events. Medina won the 200 free (1:53.59) and 500 free (5:01.46), while Morelli won the 1650 free (17:03.25) and 200 butterfly (2:02.39), and Miller captured the 200 breast (2:20.38). Freshman Cheryl Anne Bingaman placed first in the 50 free (24.19) and 100 free (52.60). Cal was equally dominant in the relay events, winning the 200 free relay (1:38.24), 800 free relay (7:43.09), 200 medley relay (1:49.98) and 400 medley relay (3:57.61).
2001-02 RECAP: The Golden Bears had eight swimmers reach All-America status. All-Americans include Coughlin, Danielle Becks, Michelle Harper and Stitts, while Micha Burden, Lauren Medina, Ashley Whitney and Kyoko Yokouchi earned honorable mention honors. Coughlin, the 2001 and 2002 NCAA and Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year who has set three world records and 27 American records, capped a superb freshman year with an even more successful sophomore season. She earned the USA Swimming Athlete of the Year and Performance of the Year award for her world record breaking swim in the 100-meter backstroke. At 58.59, Coughlin shattered the record, becoming the first female to ever post a sub-minute finish. At the NCAA Championships, she won national titles in the 100 fly (50.01), and 100 (49.97) and 200 back (1:49.52), setting NCAA records in all three events-breaking the old NCAA records she had set in 2001. Cal finished eighth at the 2002 NCAA Championships, bolstered by Coughlin's three wins, Stitts' fourth place finish in the 100 breast, and the team's national runner-up finishes in the 200 and 400 medley relays. Cal placed fourth at the Pac-10 Championships, bettering its fifth place finish from the year before. The Bears won five titles at the 2002 championships, as Coughlin set new conference records in the 200 free (1:43.30) and 100 (50.71) and 200 back (1:50.90).
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS: Cal competes against one of the top programs in the country at Georgia. The Lady Bulldogs were last season's national champion runner-up, and won three consecutive national championships prior to the 2001-02 season. Georgia boasts a 2-0 record after defeating North Carolina (177-118) and Kentucky (148-90) this season. The meet against Cal marks Georgia's home opener. Clemson posts a 1-1 record after opening the season with a 149-94 win against at Virginia Tech, but following it with a 173-70 loss to Maryland. The Tigers host a meet against College of Charleston Friday, Nov.1 before their meet against the Bears.
HEAD COACH TERI MCKEEVER: Teri McKeever, the 2002 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, is in her 11th season as Cal's head women's swimming coach. McKeever also won the American Swimming Coaches Association's Coach of the Year award last month. She has an 86-37 (.700) dual meet record with the Golden Bears and a 140-59 (.704) overall record (five yeas as women's head coach at Fresno State). In the last six seasons, she has led Cal to top 10 national finishes every year, including an eighth place showing at the 2002 NCAA Championships.