Current, Former Bears Star at World Championships

March 28, 2007

MELBOURNE, Australia - Former California star Natalie Coughlin broke her own world record in the 100-meter backstroke as she and other former and current Golden Bears starred in the first few days of the 12th annual FINA World Championships held at the Susie O'Neil Pool.

Coughlin added the gold medal in the 100 back to her silver medal as part of the United States' second-place 4x100-meter relay and her bronze in the 100 butterfly. Current Cal sophomore Dana Vollmer earned a silver medal by swimming in the preliminary race of the 4x100 relay for the United States, which includes Cal head coach Teri McKeever as an assistant coach.

Coughlin swam a 59.44 in the 100 back on March 27 to beat her old world record of 59.58 set in 2002, led off the U.S. relay that clocked a 3:35.68 on March 25 and took third in the 100 fly with a time of 57.34 on March 26. Vollmer led off the U.S. 4x100 relay that clocked a 3:38.32 in the prelim.

Earlier today, Vollmer took sixth place in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:58.30.

Also in the 4x100 prelim, Cal freshman Lauren Boyle swam the third leg for 12th-place New Zealand (3:42.56) and former Bear Sherry Tsai, who completed her eligibility this season, swam the second leg for 16th-place Hong Kong (3:49.65). Incoming recruit Hannah Wilson swam the anchor leg of Hong Kong's relay.

Tsai took 20th place in the 50-back prelim with a time of 29.39.

On March 27, former Cal swimmer Jessica Hardy took fourth place in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:07.38. Hardy, a sophomore who successfully defended her national title in the 100-yard breaststroke at the NCAA Championships earlier this month, recently gave up her remaining college eligibility when she became a professional athlete.

The World Championships end on Sunday, April 1.

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