Bears Shine at Pan Pacific Championships

Aug. 23, 2006

VICTORIA, B.C., Canada - California and U.S. women's swimming head coach Teri McKeever led Golden Bears old and new to eight medals, including six golds, at the 2006 Pan Pacific Championships that ran Aug. 17-22 at the Saanich Commonwealth Place. Decorated former Bear and current Cal volunteer assistant coach Natalie Coughlin won four gold medals, Cal sophomore Jessica Hardy claimed one gold and newcomer Dana Vollmer grabbed one gold in Canada.

Vollmer joins Cal as a transfer from Florida. A sophomore, Vollmer joined Coughlin as a member of the gold-medal winning U.S. team that set a world record in the 800-meter freestyle relay at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

At the Pan Pacific Championships, Coughlin, leading off, and Hardy, swimming the second leg, earned gold medals as part of the U.S. 4x100-meter medley relay that swam a meet-record time of 3:58.38.

Another former Bears Olympian, Sherry Tsai, was part of the Hong Kong squad that took seventh in the 4x100-medley relay with a time of 4:16.30. Her time of 1:02.99 to lead off the relay is a personal record for Tsai in the 100 backstroke.

Coughlin also won the 100 freestyle (53.87), after swimming a personal and meet-record (53.83) to win the 100 prelim. She also swam the second leg of the winning 400-free relay (3:35.80, meet record) and led off the winning 800-free relay (7:54.62, meet record).

Also in the 800-free relay, Vollmer swam the third leg for the winning U.S. team and Tsai swam the second leg of the sixth-place Hong Kong team (8:28.15).

The 18-year-old Vollmer, a 6-1 product of Granbury, Texas, took fifth place in the 200 free (1:59.76), while Tsai also swam the third leg of the seventh-place Hong Kong team (3:51.50) in the 400-free relay.

Coughlin, the world record holder in the 100 backstroke, took second (1:00.66) in the Pan Pac final. Tsai was sixth in the consolation final of the 100 back (1:03.12). Coughlin was also second in the 50 free (25.32).

Hardy set a meet record in the 100-meter breaststroke, clocking a time of 1:06.43 to win the consolation final and finish ninth overall. U.S. teammate Tara Kirk won the A final in a time of 1:07.56.

NBC will televise the 2006 Pan Pacific Championships at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, Aug. 26, and at 1:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 27.

The Bears open their collegiate season at 5 p.m. CT on Thursday, Oct. 12, at Northwestern in Evanston, Ill.

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