No. 7 Ranked Cal Women's Swimming Begins 2001-02 Slate at Fresno State With Pacific

Oct. 2, 2001


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Sat. Oct. 6 at Fresno State w/Pacific, Central Unified Aquatics Complex, Fresno, CA 12 p.m.

HEAD COACH TERI MCKEEVER: Teri McKeever, the 1999 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, is in her 10th season as Cal's head women's swim coach. McKeever has a 78-35 (.690) dual meet record with the Golden Bears and a 132-57 (.698) overall record (five years as women's coach at Fresno State). In the last five seasons, she has led Cal to a ninth place NCAA finish in 1997, a eighth place finish in 1998, a fifth place finish in 1999, a fourth place finish in 2000 and a seventh place finish in 2001.

BEAR NOTES: The Cal women's swim team opens the 2001-02 season at Fresno State with Pacific, Oct. 6 in Fresno. Last season, the Bears were 6-3 in dual meets, finished fifth at the Pac-10 meet and placed seventh at the NCAA Championships (248 points). As a freshman, Cal's Natalie Coughlin was named NCAA Swimmer of the Year, Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year and Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year. It was the first time in Pac-10 history someone has been named both conference Newcomer of the Year and Swimmer of the Year. Coughlin is also the third consecutive Cal swimmer to earn Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year honors (Marylyn Chiang in 1999, Haley Cope in 2000 and Coughlin in 2001) under head coach Teri McKeever.Coughlin had what was arguably the greatest freshman campaign of any collegiate swimmer in NCAA history. She won the national title in the 100 fly and the 100 and 200 backstroke, while breaking NCAA records in all three events. She swam an NCAA record 51.18 in the 100 fly, an NCAA, American and U.S. Open record 51.23 in the 100 back, and a NCAA, American and U.S. Open record 1:51.02 in the 200 back.Coughlin helped the Bears to three second-place NCAA finishes in the relays as well. She swam the butterfly leg of the Bears 400 medley relay (Cope, Staciana Stitts, Coughlin, Danielle Becks) that was an American record with a time of 3:34.83. Coughlin swam the butterfly leg on Cal's 200 medley relay (Cope, Stitts, Coughlin, Michelle Harper) that placed second and was also an American record with a time of 1:38.44. Finally, she swam the second leg of Cal's 200 free relay (Harper, Coughlin, Adrienne Mattos, Cope) that set a new school record with a time of 1:30.05.Coughlin then won USS National Swimming titles Mar. 27-Apr. 1 in Austin, TX in both in the 100-meter butterfly (59.38) and the 100-meter backstroke (1:01.32). Coughlin then represented the United States at the 2001 World Championship, July 22-29 in Fukuoka, Japan, winning the world title in the 100-meter back (American record 1:00.37).

CAL NEWCOMERS: The Bears welcome in a large freshman class this season, featuring 10 first-year collegiate swimmers. Cal also brings in Ashley Whitney, who sat out last season after transferring from the University of Georgia. Whitney is a distance freestyler who was a member of the 1996 United States Olympic team that competed in Atlanta, winning a gold medal (swam in the prelims) as a member of the 800-meter free relay. Whitney joins breaststroker Staciana Stitts, who won a gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics as a member of the United States' 400-meter medley relay, as current Bears who have won Olympic gold medals.

NOTING THE OPPONENTS: Cal has a 19-1 all-time dual meet record versus Fresno State and a 17-2 all-time dual meet record versus Pacific. The Bears last defeated the Bulldogs, 196-98, Oct. 10, 1999 in Fresno, and last topped Pacific, 131.5-92.5, Oct. 27, 2000 in Stockton. In 2001, Fresno State finished sixth (363 points) in the WAC Swimming Championships.

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