No. 8 Cal Ready for NCAA Championships

March 17, 2003

Led by 2002 World Swimmer of the Year and Sullivan Award finalist Natalie Coughlin, the University of California women's swimming team is in action this week at the 2003 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships in Auburn, Ala. The meet, hosted by Auburn University, is Thursday through Saturday (Mar. 20-22). Swimming preliminaries begin at 11 a.m and finals start at 7 p.m. each day.

The Golden Bears will send 12 swimmers-two seniors, three juniors, three sophomores and four freshmen to compete in 16 of the 17 events. The participants include seniors Staciana Stitts and Michelle Harper, juniors Natalie Coughlin, Danielle Becks and Natalie Griffith, sophomores Lauren Medina, Marcelle Miller, and Amy Ng and freshmen Cheryl Anne Bingaman, Ashley Chandler, Whitney Rockwell and Helen Silver. Fellow frosh, Kate Tiedeman has been selected as an alternate in the 500 freestyle.

With 12 swimmers headed to Auburn, Cal boasts more representatives at the NCAA Championships than any other Pac-10 school. Including alternate Kate Tiedeman, the Bears' total rises to 13. Arizona, Stanford and UCLA will send 10 swimmers each to Auburn, while USC sends eight, Arizona State sends seven, Washington sends four, Oregon State sends two and Washington State sends one.

Full meet results will be available each day at these websites: and Complete Cal recaps will be available at

Natalie Coughlin, a two-time NCAA Swimmer of the Year, is vying for her third consecutive such honor. In addition, Coughlin looks to become a three-time NCAA champion in the 100 and 200 backstroke and 100 butterfly events. So far this season, Coughlin has dominated her sport like no other swimmer, breaking three world, seven American and three NCAA records. She holds the nation's top times in the 100 (47.42), 200 (1:42.65) and 500 free (4:37.62), 100 back (52.22) and 100 (51.10) and 200 fly (1:51.91). Her outstanding performances and achievements consistently generate significant recognition as in December she was named the 2002 World Swimmer of the Year by Swimming World and is one of five finalists for the 73rd Annual AAU James E. Sullivan Memorial Award given to the nation's top amateur athlete.

Teri McKeever, the 2002 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, is in her 11th season as Cal's head women's swimming coach. Last fall, McKeever was the 2002 recipient of the American Swimming Coaches Association's Coach of the Year award. She has a 91-39 (.700) dual meet record with the Golden Bears and a 147-62 (.703) overall record (five years as women's head coach at Fresno State). In the last six seasons, McKeever has led Cal to Top 10 national finishes every year, including an eighth place showing at the 2002 NCAA Championships.

The Bears finished eighth at last year's NCAA Championships and came away from the elite meet with nine swimmers earning All-American honors. The 2002 NCAA Swimmer of the Year, Natalie Coughlin, headlined that group which also included seniors Staciana Stitts and Michelle Harper, junior Danielle Becks and sophomore Lauren Medina. Coughlin was the Bears' top performer, defending her three titles in the 100 fly and 100 and 200 back, by setting new American and NCAA records in each event.

Cal is ranked No. 8 in the latest College Swim Coaches Association of America's Top 25 poll. The Bears started their season off strong, winning their opening meet against Pacific, then posting a runner-up finish at the SMU Classic and placing first in the Pacific Invitational. The team suffered a 163-129 setback at Georgia Nov. 1, but used the meet as motivation and quickly reeled off five straight victories and a second-place showing at the Auburn Invitational. The Bears opened up the Pac-10 season with a split at the Arizona schools, defeating No. 16 Arizona State, 166-131, but falling to No. 10 Arizona, 136-107. The team returned to Berkeley and promptly swept the Los Angeles schools with a decisive 167-133 victory over No. 4 USC and a 157.5-142.5 win over No. 13 UCLA. Cal ended the regular season with an ulcerating 154-146 loss to then-No. 7 Stanford.

The Bears claimed fifth place (940.5 points) at the 2003 Pac-10 Championships, hosted by Cal in Federal Way, Wash. Natalie Coughlin led the Bears at the conference meet with three individual victories. Coughlin broke her own American record in the 100 free (47.42) and posting two other championship meet records in the 50 free (22.05) and 100 fly (51.01). She also swam the second leg on Cal's victorious 200 free relay team (1:31.01), helping Cal to its fifth-consecutive 200 free relay championship title. Other Bears that posted top five finishes included freshman Helen Silver's runner-up finish in the 200 back (1:58.08) and fifth-place showing in the 100 back (54.85). Senior Staciana Stitts also posted a fifth-place finish in the 100 breast (1:02.47). In addition to Cal's win in the 200 free relay, the Bears' other relays teams were impressive. The Bears' 200 free relay and 200 and 400 medley relays each finished second.

Lists of the nation's top times are splashed with the names of Golden Bears. The following Cal swimmers are listed on the Mar. 5 national Top 75 lists. Additionally, Cal's relays are among the best in the nation as the 400 free relay is ranked sixth, the 200 free, 800 free and 400 medley relays are ranked at No. 7 and the 200 medley relay is ranked No. 10.

Natalie Coughlin-50 free (2nd, 22.05), 100 free (1st, 47.42), 200 free (1st, 1:42.65), 500 free (1st, 4:37.62), 1000 free (17th, 9:55.25), 100 back (1st, 52.22), 200 back (11th, 1:57.38), 100 fly (1st, 51.10), 200 fly (1st, 1:51.91), 200 IM (16th, 2:00.62), 400 IM (7th, 4:11.76); Ashley Chandler-200 free (61st, 1:49.36), 500 free (64th, 4:50.87), 1000 free (27th, 9:58.72), 1650 free (25th, 16:29.15); Kate Tiedeman-500 free (39th, 4:48.94), 1000 free (38th, 10:02.53), 1650 free (38th, 16:37.38), 400 IM (63rd, 4:21.25); Staciana Stitts-100 breast (8th, 1:00.80), 200 breast (14th, 2:13.52), 200 IM (49th, 2:02.65); Danielle Becks-50 free (t63, 23.31), 100 free (53rd, 50.48); Natalie Griffith-200 IM (45th, 2:02.58), 400 IM (39th, 4:19.31); Whitney Rockwell-50 free (55th, 23.25), 100 fly (62nd, 55.30); Helen Silver-100 back (19th, 54.57), 200 back (14th, 1:57.81); Michelle Harper-50 free (73rd, 23.34); Lauren Medina-200 free (52nd, 1:49.15); Marcelle Miller-200 breast (21st, 2:15.06); Amy Ng-400 IM (t29th, 4:18.44).


Name	Event	Yr.	Ht.	Exp.	Hometown/Last SchoolDanielle Becks	Free	Jr.	5-9	2V	Novato, CA/San Marin HSCheryl Anne Bingaman	Free	Fr.	5-6	HS	Lodi, CA/Lodi HSAshley Chandler	Free/Fly	Fr.	5-8	HS	Chandler, AZ/Chandler HSNatalie Coughlin	Fly/Bk/Fr.	Jr.	5-8	2V	Concord, CA/Carondelet HSNatalie Griffith	IM/Fly	Jr.	5-10	2V	Newport News, VA/Hampton Roads AcademyMichelle Harper	Free	Sr.	5-11	3V	Mercer Island, WA/Mercer Island HSLauren Medina	Free	So.	5-6	1V	West Covina, CA/St. Lucy's PrioryMarcelle Miller	Breast/IM	So.	5-8	1V	Portsmouth, NH/Portsmouth HSAmy Ng	         IM/Back	So.	5-6	1V	San Ramon, CA/California HSWhitney Rockwell	Free/Fly	Fr.	5-9	HS	Cape Elizabeth, ME/Cape Elizabeth HSHelen Silver	Back	Fr.	5-11	HS	Bainbridge Island, WA/Bainbridge HSStaciana Stitts	Breast/IM	Sr.	5-9	3V	Leucadia, CA/Carlsbad HSKate Tiedeman	Free/IM	Fr.	5-7	HS	Burlingame, CA/Burlingame HS


50 Freestyle:	Whitney Rockwell (23.25), Danielle Becks (23.31), Michelle Harper (23.34)100 Freestyle:	Danielle Becks (50.48), Cheryl Anne Bingaman (50.77), Michelle Harper (51.07)200 Freestyle:	Lauren Medina (1:49.15), Ashley Chandler (1:49.36), Danielle Becks (1:50.21)500 Freestyle:	Ashley Chandler (4:50.87)1650 Freestyle:	Ashley Chandler (16:29.15)100 Backstroke:	Natalie Coughlin (50.81), Helen Silver (54.57)200 Backstroke:	Natalie Coughlin (1:52.68), Helen Silver (1:57.81)100 Breaststroke:	Staciana Stitts (1:00.80)200 Breaststroke:	Staciana Stitts (2:13.52), Marcelle Miller (2:15.06)100 Butterfly:	Natalie Coughlin (50.48), Whitney Rockwell (55.30)200 IM:	Natalie Griffith (2:02.58), Staciana Stitts (2:02.65), Amy Ng (2:04.01)400 IM:	Amy Ng (4:18.44), Natalie Griffith (4:19.31)200 Free Relay:	1:31.01 (Becks, Coughlin, Rockwell, Harper) seeded seventh400 Free Relay:	3:19.37 (Coughlin, Becks, Stitts, Bingaman) seeded sixth800 Free Relay:	7:13.52 (Chandler, Coughlin, Becks, Medina) seeded eighth200 Medley Relay:	1:40.53 (Coughlin, Stitts, Griffith, Harper) seeded 10th400 Medley Relay:	3:39.04 (Silver, Stitts, Coughlin, Becks) seeded eighth

The NCAA Championships mark the conclusion of the collegiate season, but the swimming doesn't stop there for Natalie Coughlin and head coach Teri McKeever. Coughlin joins former teammate Haley Cope as a competitor and McKeever is an assistant coach for the Apr. 6 'Duel in the Pool' showdown between the U.S. and Australia. The sport's best athletes from both countries face off as swimming's greatest rivalry is set to take place in Indianapolis, IN and will be broadcast nationally on NBC.

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