No. 4 Cal Women's Swimming and Diving Travels to Pac-10 Championships

Feb. 25, 2002


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Thu-Sat., Feb. 28-Mar. 2 at Pac-10 Championships, Belmont Plaza, Long Beach, CA All Day

BEARS TRAVEL TO THE PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS: The No. 4 ranked Cal women's swimming and diving team (7-2, 5-1) will travel to the 2002 Pac-10 Championships, Thu.-Sat., Feb. 28-Mar. 2 at the Belmont Plaza Pool in Long Beach. The Bears feature Natalie Coughlin, the 2001 Pac-10 and NCAA Swimmer of the Year, who remains undefeated (29-0) in Pac-10 dual meet races after winning the 200 free, 100 free and 100 fly Feb. 16 at Stanford.

COUGHLIN FINALIST FOR SULLIVAN AWARD: Natalie Coughlin, a sophomore swimmer at Cal, has been named one of the 14 finalists for the 72nd Annual AAU James E. Sullivan Memorial Award that recognizes the top amateur athlete in the nation. Narrowed from a field of 30 nominees, the first-round finalists will be reduced to five athletes and their names will be released in mid-March. From the five names, the National winner will be formally recognized in early April. Over a five-day span earlier this fall, Coughlin won nine events and in the process set two world records, four American records and six meet records. At the FINA World Cup in East Meadow, NY, Nov. 27-28, she broke the 100 (57.08) and 200 (2:03.52) back (scm) world records. In the 50 fly (25.83), Coughlin broke the US Open record. She then traveled to the Texas Invitational Nov. 30-Dec. 2 in Austin, TX and broke the American record in the 100 back (50.90) and posted times that lead the nation in the 50 free (22.21), 100 free (47.76), 200 free (1:43.77) and 100 fly (51.22).

ADDITIONAL COUGHLIN NOTES: Last season, Coughlin was the third consecutive Bear women swimmer to be named Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year (Marylyn Chiang in 1999, Haley Cope in 2000 and Coughlin in 2001). During last season's Pac-10 dual meet schedule, Coughlin won all 15 races she entered and was the NCAA champion and record holder in the 100 fly, 100 back and 200 back. Coughlin is also the Cal school record holder in the 50 free, 100 free and 200 free, and is on school record-setting 200 medley relay, 400 medley relay and 200 free relays.

BEARS AMONG NATION'S BEST: Coughlin currently has the nation's top collegiate times in seven events - the 50 free (22.21), the 100 free (47.76), the 200 free (1:43.77), the 100 back (50.90), the 200 back (1:50.76), the 100 fly (51.22) and the 200 fly (1:54.55). Other Bears who have times that are among the Top 10 in the nation include junior Olympian Staciana Stitts in the 100 breast (third 1:00.51 NCAA automatic) and the 200 breast (fourth 2:11.98 NCAA automatic), and senior Alice Henriques in the 200 back (sixth 1:57.22 NCAA automatic). In the relays, Cal has the second-best time in the nation in the 200 medley relay (1:40.04 Coughlin, Stitts, Henriques, sophomore Danielle Becks), third-best time in the 400 medley relay (3:38.55 Henriques, Sitts, Coughlin, Becks), fourth-best time in the 400 free relay (3:20.92 Stitts, Coughlin, Becks, Harper) and fifth-best time in the 200 free relay (1:32.06 Becks, Coughlin, freshman Emma Palsson, junior Michelle Harper).

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 an 85-37 (.697) dual meet record with the Golden Bears and a 139-59 (.702) 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.

NOTING THE PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS: The 2002 Pac-10 Championships features five teams ranked in the Top 10 in the latest CSCAA Top 25 poll, No. 1 Stanford, No. 4 Cal, No. 7 Arizona, No. 9 USC and No. 10 ASU. At the 2001 Pac-10 Championships, Natalie Coughlin the conference champion in the 200 back (1:52.73) and Cal won the conference crown in the 200 free relay (1:30.78 Adrienne Mattos, Coughlin, Michelle Harper, Haley Cope). As a team, the Bears finished fifth at the 2001 Pac-10 meet with 1,001.50 points.

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