Natalie Coughlin Breaks American Record at Auburn Invitational.

Dec. 6, 2002

Junior Natalie Coughlin stole the spotlight in the second day of competition at the Auburn Invitational in Auburn, Ala., breaking the American, U.S. Open and NCAA records in the 200-yard freestyle (1:42.65). The No. 9 Golden Bears squad stands in second place at the invitational with 495 points, behind No. 1 Auburn (702 points). The 22nd-ranked South Carolina squad is in third place (462 points) and No. 11 Virginia is fourth with 450 points.

'It was an excellently executed race that she just missed last February,' Cal head coach Teri McKeever said. 'One of the purposes of coming to an event like this is so that she has the opportunity to race against good competition.'

Coughlin, who now has broken 32 American records in her career, has made the most of that opportunity and also helped Cal notch two wins on the night as part of the 200-yard medley relay and 800-yard freestyle relay teams. Senior Staciana Stitts also added a victory, winning the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:01.38.

Freshmen Helen Silver and Ashley Chandler, sophomore Amy Ng and juniors Danielle Becks and Natalie Griffith all swam well, posting NCAA consideration time finishes for the second consecutive day. Silver finished fourth in the 100-yard backstroke (55.85), while Chandler won the 200 free bonus final with a time of 1:49.36. Ng placed seventh in the 400-yard IM (4:21.83) and Griffith won the 400 IM bonus final with a personal best time of 4:19.31. Becks placed third in the 200 free bonus final with an NCAA consideration time of 1:50.21.

The Auburn Invitational concludes tomorrow, Sat., Dec. 7, with prelims beginning at 9:30 a.m. CT and finals at 5:30 p.m. Coughlin will have an opportunity to go after another record, this time in the 200-yard butterfly. For complete results, visit

Auburn Invitational Cal Results (Dec. 6)
200-yard medley relay - 1. Cal (Silver, Stitts, Coughlin, Harper) 1:40.82, 6. Cal (Morelli, Miller, Kong, Rockwell) 1:47.39; 400-yard 400 IM - 7. Amy Ng, Cal 4:21.83, 9. Natalie Griffith, Cal 4:19.31, 10. Kate Tiedeman, Cal 4:24.77, 12. Jenna Rais, Cal 4:26. 25; 100-yard butterfly - 5. Flora Kong, Cal 56.10, 9. Whitney Rockwell, Cal 56.16, 12. Natalie Griffith, Cal 56.62, 17. Emma Palsson, Cal 56.55, 18. Lisa Morelli, Cal 58.41; 200-yard freestyle - 1. Natalie Coughlin, Cal 1:42.65, 9. Ashley Chandler, Cal 1:49.36, 11. Danielle Becks, Cal 1:50.21, 14. Lauren Medina, Cal 1:51.39, 19. Cheryl Anne Bingaman, Cal 1:52.49, 21. Kate Tiedeman, Cal 1:54.64, 23. Lisa Morelli, Cal 1:55.66; 100-yard breaststroke - 1. Staciana Stitts, Cal 1:01.38, 9. Whitney Rockwell, Cal 1:04.90, 11. Marcelle Miller, Cal 1:06.06, 12. Gina Merlone, Cal 1:06.52, 14. Erin Calder, Cal 1:08.38, 17. Jenna Rais, Cal 1:07.94, 18. Michelle Harper, Cal 1:08.87; 100-yard backstroke - 4. Helen Silver, Cal 55.85; 800-yard freestyle relay - 1. Cal (Chandler, Coughlin, Becks, Medina) 7:13.52.

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