Cal Women's Swimming Impressive at Pac-10 Championship

Feb. 26, 2001

Federal Way, WA - The No. 4 ranked California women's swim team had some impressive performances at last weekend's Pac-10 Championship in Federal Way, WA.

Senior Haley Cope, the 2000 Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year, was a double Pac-10 champion for the Bears this season. On Thursday, Cope placed first in the 50 free with a school record time of 22.32, surpassing the former record of 22.76 set by current teammate Adrienne Mattos in 1998. It was also a Pac-10 meet record, surpassing Richelle Depold's time of 22.58, set in 1992.

On Saturday, Cope won the 100 free with a time of 49.27, breaking the Cal school record of 49.54 set by Joscelin Yeo last year. She was also a member of the Bears Pac-10 champion 200 free relay (1:30.78), along with Adrienne Mattos, Natalie Coughlin and Michelle Harper, and placed second in the 100 back (53.61). It was the second year in a row the Bears had captured the Pac-10 title in the 200 free relay.

On Saturday, freshman Natalie Coughlin won the Pac-10 title in the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:52.73, breaking American, U.S. Open, NCAA and Pac-10 records. She also set an American and meet record Thursday in the 100 backstroke when she swam a 52.40 leadoff leg on California's 400 medley relay team.

Coughlin finished second in the 100 fly with a school record 52.04 (NCAA automatic, surpassing her own school record of 52.36 set Feb. 10) on Friday as well, and on Thursday placed second in the 200 IM (career-best 1:58.13).

Other highlights for Cal was the Bears 200 medley relay team (Haley Cope, Staciana Stitts, Natalie Coughlin, Michelle Harper) placing second with a time of 1:39.83 (NCAA automatic). Cal's 400 free relay team (Danielle Becks, Natalie Coughlin, Michelle Harper, Haley Cope) also placed second with a time of 3:18.72 (NCAA automatic). Sophomore Staciana Stitts was third in the 100 breast with a time of 1:01.95 (NCAA automatic).

'The 50 and 100 free were Haley's (Cope) first individual Pac-10 titles and both were school records,' said head coach Teri McKeever. 'She was fabulous in the relays as well. She just had a great meet. Natalie's (Coughlin) record in the 100 back was something she had been focusing on, since she had formally held the record before it was broken last year. I think she surprised herself with her time in the 200 back. We also had great efforts from freshman Kyoko Yokouchi and Natalie Griffith. Every person on the team scored points for us and 14 of our 16 swims were NCAA consideration marks or better.'

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