Natalie Coughlin Sets New American/NCAA Record in 100 Free

March 1, 2003

FEDERAL WAY, Wash.- University of California junior Natalie Coughlin continues to outdo herself, breaking her own American, NCAA and Cal school record in the 100-yard freestyle (47.42) tonight at the conclusion of the 2003 Pac-10 Women's Swimming and Diving Championships. UCLA won the conference championship for the second time in three years, earning the victory by virtue of its 1,399-point total.

Stanford trailed UCLA by just eight and one-half points heading into Saturday evening's final. The Cardinal finished second with 1,308 points. USC placed third (1,138) and Arizona finished in fourth place (1,013). Cal placed fifth (940.5), while Arizona State was sixth (765) and Washington placed seventh (578.5). Oregon State (544) and Washington State (299) finished at eighth and ninth place, respectively.

The evening began with the longest event of the championships, the 1650-yard freestyle. USC, a deep team in the distance events, swept the top three places. Kaitlin Sandeno captured the championship title, winning the event in 15:54.41, while teammate Margie Pedder was runner-up in 16:04.94. Asa Sandlund completed the Trojan sweep, finishing third in 16:22.12. All three times met NCAA automatic qualifying standards.

For the Bears, freshman Kate Tiedeman placed eighth with a time of 16:37.38, shaving hundredths of a second off her previous best time of 16:43.75. That time serves as an NCAA 'B' cut.

Cal's head coach Teri McKeever was proud of how Tiedeman and others performed this weekend, and said that it could only lead to better things down the road.

'Overall there were some really bright spots at the championships for us,' McKeever said. 'It was great to see some of the newer people step up into significant roles. It was too bad that illnesses impacted our performances a bit, but there are always highs and lows to these types of meet. We just have to look forward to doing our best at the national championships.'

In the 200-yard backstroke, Arizona's Beth Botsford was the only swimmer to post an NCAA 'A' time, winning the race in 1:55.24. The Golden Bears' freshman Helen Silver and UCLA's Taylor Spivey both touched the wall in second place, with an NCAA consideration time of 1:58.08. Cal sophomore Amy Ng placed third in the bonus final of the 200 back with a time of 2:03.27.

The 100 free was one of the most exciting races of the night as Cal's Coughlin set her third consecutive individual Pac-10 record of the championship. Besting her own American/NCAA/Pac-10 and Cal school record of 47.47, Coughlin finished first in 47.42. Coughlin earlier broke the Pac-10 Championship record in the event during the morning's preliminaries, beating former Cardinal and Olympic gold medallist Jenny Thompson's time of 48.88. Washington's Kim Harada swam a solid runner-up finish of 29.15, and UCLA's Sara Platzer placed third in 49.28. All three times were NCAA automatic times.

'I'm proud of my accomplishments, but I always set goals and look to the next race,' Coughlin said. 'I just always want to improve.'

Also for the Bears in the 100 free was junior Danielle Becks' third-place finish in the consolation final (50.93). Senior Michelle Harper and freshman Cheryl Anne Bingaman finished in fifth (51.21) and sixth (51.32), respectively in that race, as well. Those times for Harper and Bingaman were season-bests.

Stanford's Tara Kirk, who also bested her own American/NCAA/Pac-10 record in the 100 breast Friday night, nearly did it again as she touched the wall in the 200 breast (2:07.37) at just a hair slower than her record time of 2:07.36. Her time did however break Arizona State's Agnes Kovacs' former Pac-10 Championship record of 2:07.75. Kovacs was runner-up to Kirk at 2:08.82, while Oregon State's Birte Steven placed third (2:11.45). Cal sophomore Marcelle Miller recorded a season-best and NCAA 'B' time in the event, placing sixth with at time of 2:15.06. Junior Natalie Griffith was runner-up in the 200 breast in the bonus final, touching the wall in 2:19.08.

The 200-yard butterfly was one of the fastest races of the evening in terms of times, as seven of the eight competitors met NCAA automatic qualifying standards. USC's Michala Kwasny won the event with a time of 1:55.75. UCLA's Kim Vandenberg clocked a second-place finish in 1:55.89, while Stanford's Dana Kirk placed third (1:56.02).

USC's Blythe Hartley won her third consecutive title of the championships, placing first in the platform diving competition (489.20). Her Trojan teammate, Nicci Fusaro, placed second with 434.85 points, while UCLA's Regan Gosnell placed third with 443.95 points.

In the final event of the evening, Stanford captured its third relay win of the championships, as the squad of Lacey Boutwell, Sarah Jones, Ashley Daly and Megan Baumgartner finished first in 3:19.82. The Cal squad of senior Michelle Harper, Coughlin, junior Danielle Becks and freshman Cheryl Anne Bingaman placed second in 3:19.90. UCLA's team of Vandenberg, Lindsey Smart, Malin Svahnstrom and Platzer captured a third-place finish (3:20.49).

The men's 2003 Pac-10 diving championships were also held this weekend. In the platform diving final today, USC's Ray Vincent took home the title with a 503.85 point total. Arizona's John Anderson placed second with 459.80 points and Arizona State's Jonna Puhakka placed third with 456.50 points.

Results are updated live on the Internet at the completion of each race. Go to for complete recaps and results.

Pac-10 Championships Results (Sat., Mar. 1)
Team Scores: 1. UCLA (1,399), 2. Stanford (1,308), 3. USC (1,138), 4. Arizona (1,013), 5. Cal (940.5), 6. Arizona State (765), 7. Washington (578.5), 8. Oregon State (544), 9. Washington State (299).1650-yard Freestyle-1. Kaitlin Sandeno, USC (15:54.41), 2. Margie Pedder, USC (16:04.94), 3. Asa Sandlund, USC (16:22.12), 4. Naya Higashijima, Oregon State (16:27.59), 5. Joy Galloway, USC (16:27.79), 6. Jackie Lobdell, UCLA (16:32.21), 7. Kathryn Hennesey, Arizona State (16:32.90), 8. Kate Tiedeman, Cal (16:37.38), 9. Sharon Olson, Washington (16:37.49). 200-yard Backstroke-1. Beth Botsford, Arizona (1:55.24), 2t. Taylor Spivey, UCLA (1:58.08), 2t. Helen Silver, Cal (1:58.08), 4. Julie Manitt, Arizona (1:58.33), 5. Marisa Kozak, USC (1:58.60), 6. Jessica Hayes, Arizona (1:58.69), 7. Naoko Watanabe, UCLA (1:59.89), 8. Amy Wagner, Stanford (2:12.81). 100-yard Freestyle-1. Natalie Coughlin, Cal (47.42, American/NCAA/Cal school record), 2. Kim Harada, Washington (49.15), 3. Sara Platzer, UCLA (49.28), 4. Lacey Boutwell, Stanford (49.83), 5. Florencia Szigeti, Arizona State (50.00), 6. Malin Svahnstrom, UCLA (50.03), 7. Claire Hedenskog, Arizona State, 8. Sarah Jones, Stanford (50.95). 200-yard Breaststroke-1. Tara Kirk, Stanford (2:07.37), 2. Agnes Kovacs, Arizona State (2:08.82), 3. Birte Steven, Oregon State (2:11.45), 4. Kristen Caverly, Stanford (2:12.96), 5. Kamren Miller, USC (2:14.15), 6. Marcelle Miller, Cal (2:15.06), 7. Jane Copland, Washington State (2:15.71), 8. Brooke Winkler, UCLA (2:15.96). 200-yard Butterfly-1. Michala Kwasny, USC (1:55.75), 2. Kim Vandenberg, UCLA (1:55.89), 3. Dana Kirk, Stanford (1:56.02), 4. Jana Krohn, USC (1:57.13), 5. Kristen Lewis, UCLA (1:57.65), 6. Margie Pedder, USC (1:58.34), 7. Naya Higashijima, Oregon State (1:58.76), 8. Anissa Hilyard, Washington (2:01.06). Platform Diving-1. Blythe Hartley, USC (489.20), 2. Nicci Fusaro, USC (434.85), 3. Regan Gosnell, UCLA (443.95), 4. McKenze Murphy, Stanford (435.15), 5. Claire Febvay, Arizona (427.35), 6. Trisha Tumlinson, Arizona State (454.05), 7. Sara Bowling, Stanford (365.25), 8. Jen McNally, UCLA (359.70). 400-yard Freestyle Relay-1. Stanford (3:19.82), 2. Cal (3:19.90), 3. UCLA (3:20.49), 4. Arizona State (3:21.52), 5. Washington (3:21.71), 6. Arizona (3:22.26), 7. USC (3:25.24), 8. Oregon State (3:27.74), 9. Washington State (3:29.00).

NCAA Automatic Qualifying Times (Sat., Mar. 1)
1650-yard Freestyle-Kaitlin Sandeno, USC (15:54.41), Margie Pedder, USC (16:04.94), Asa Sandlund, USC (16:22.12).200-yard Backstroke-Beth Botsford, Arizona (1:55.24).100-yard Freestyle-Natalie Coughlin, Cal (47.42), Kim Harada, Washington (49.15), Sara Platzer, UCLA (49.28).200-yard Breaststroke-Tara Kirk, Stanford (2:07.37), Agnes Kovacs, Arizona State (2:08.82), Birte Steven, Oregon State (2:11.45), Kristen Caverly, Stanford (2:12.96), Kamren Miller, USC (2:14.15).200-yard Butterfly-Michala Kwasny, USC (1:55.75), Kim Vandenberg, UCLA (1:55.89), Dana Kirk, Stanford (1:56.02), Jana Krohn, USC (1:57.13), Kristen Lewis, UCLA (1:57.65), Margie Pedder, USC (1:58.34), Naya Higashijima, Oregon State (1:58.76).400-yard Freestyle Relay-Stanford (Boutwell, Jones, Daly, Baumgartner) 3:19.82, Cal (Harper, Coughlin, Becks, Bingaman) 3:19.90.

Now on Pac-12 Network
12:00 PM PT

Airing on:

  • Pac-12 Network
Get Pac-12 Networks
Pac-12 Networks Channel Finder