Women's Swimming Hosts Washington State Saturday

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Oct. 14, 2003

Date: Saturday, October 18, 2003
Place: Spieker Aquatics Complex, Berkeley
Time: 12 p.m.

Coming off its first victory of the year at Pacific last Friday, the California women's swimming and diving team (1-0) opens its home season Friday, Oct. 18 against Washington State at 12 p.m. at the Spieker Aquatics Complex in Berkeley.

Last season Cal did not face Washington State. However, in 2001, the Golden Bears defeated the Cougars, 147-105. Cal holds a 5-0 all-time record against WSU.

Cal defeated Pacific, 149-111, it its first meet of 2002-03 at Stockton, Calif. last Friday. The Bears won nine of the 14 races and also turned in seven runner-up finishes. Cal was led by three-time NCAA Swimmer of the Year Natalie Coughlin, who notched three individual wins. Coughlin captured the 100 free (51.37), 100 fly (54.25) and 200 IM (2:04.54). Last season, Coughlin set the new American, NCAA, U.S. Open and school record in the 100 free (47.00). In 2001-02, she set those same records in the 100 fly (1:51.91). Sophomore Helen Silver won two events at Pacific, placing first in the 100 (57.30) and 200 back (2:04.71). In the 1000 free, Cal put up a 1-2 punch as sophomores Ashley Chandler (10:02.77) and Kate Tiedeman (10:04.56) finished in first and second place, respectively. Other wins for Cal came in the 100 breast where junior Marcelle Miller touched the wall first in a time of 1:06.00, while senior Danielle Becks was victorious in the 500 free (4:57.32)-an exciting win for one of Cal's top sprint freestylers. Freshman Annie Babicz also added first-place points, winning the 200 breast (2:21.57). Babicz also added a runner-up finish in the 200 IM (2:10.86).

Washington State finished ninth at the 2003 Pac-10 Championships. This season, the Cougars are a young squad as half of the team is comprised of freshman. WSU returns its top backstroker from last year in senior Sasha Taylor and top breaststroker/IMer sophomore Jane Copland. Taylor held the Cougars' top times in the 100 (58.19) and 200 back (2:04.14), while Copland posted WSU's fastest times of last season in the 100 (1:04.79) and 200 breast (2:15.71) and 200 (2:05.07) and 400 IM (4:31.32).

The Bears feature five first-year collegiate swimmers this season. Annie Babicz, from Sarasota, Fla., is a versatile swimmer who will contribute in the breast, fly and IM events. Babicz was nationally ranked No. 1 in the 100 breast during her 2001 high school season, was a member of the 2002 U.S. National Junior team and competed at the 2000 Olympic trials. She also was a four-time Florida state champion in the 100 breast and three-time champion in the 100 fly. Catherine O'Neal, from Austin, Tex., will also contribute in the breaststroke events. Erin Reilly is a distance freestyler/butterflier from Sacramento, Calif. An 11-time high school All-American in the 200 and 500 free, 100 fly and 200 and 400 free relay events, Reilly was also the Sac-Joaquin section record holder in the 100 fly and 200 free. Cal also added two backstrokers to its roster this season with Kelly Sanders (Los Altos Hills, CA) and Nadia Staubitz (Mesa, AZ). Staubitz, who is also a prolific butterflier, was the 2002 Arizona state high school champion in the 100 and 200 back.

2002-03 RECAP
Cal claimed eighth place at the 2003 NCAA Championships with 215 points. Natalie Coughlin led the Bears with her third consecutive titles in the 100 and 200 back and 100 fly. She earned her third NCAA Swimmer of the Year honor and became the first swimmer in NCAA history to win three titles in the 100/200 back and 100 fly. She also broke the NCAA and American record in the 100 free (47.00), leading off the Bears' 400 free relay. At the NCAAs, three Cal school records fell. Staciana Stitts rewrote her school record in the 100 breast with a time of 1:00.30, while the 200 (1:30.03) and 400 free relays (3:16.21) also set new school records. At the 2003 Pac-10 Championships, the Bears placed fifth (940.5 points). Cal hosted the conference meet in Federal Way, Wash., where Coughlin came away from the meet with three individual victories. She broke her own American record in the 100 free (47.42) and posted 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 who posted top five finishes included Helen Silver's runner-up finish in the 200 back (1:58.08) and fifth-place showing in the 100 back (54.85). 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. In the regular season, Cal was 8-3 overall and 4-2 against Pac-10 opponents.

Cal boasts seven All-America swimmers on the 2003-04 squad. They include seniors Natalie Coughlin (21x), Danielle Becks (8x), Natalie Griffth (2x) and Micha Burden, junior Lauren Medina and sophomore Cheryl Anne Bingaman.

Several returnees from the 2002-03 Cal team were splashed on the 2003 College Quick 50--a list of the top 50 times in the nation for each event. Additionally, the Bears' 400 free (3:16.21) and 400 medley relays (3:34.95) ranked third, while their 200 free (1:30.03) and 200 medley relays (1:38.65) ranked fourth. Cal's 800 free relay swam the ninth-fastest time in the country last season at 7:13.52.

These swimmers were listed on the final compilation of 2002-03 top times.

Natalie Coughlin 100 free (1st, 47.00) 200 free (1st, 1:42.65) 500 free (1st, 4:37.62) 100 back (1st, 50.92) 200 back (1st, 1:50.86) 100 fly (1st, 50.62) 200 fly (1st, 1:51.91) 50 free (3rd, 22.01) 200 IM (21st, 2:00.62) 400 IM (8th, 4:11.76) Helen Silver 100 back (15th, 54.25) 200 back (16th, 1:57.81) Kate Tiedeman 500 free (40th, 4:48.94) 1650 free (40th, 16:37.38) Danielle Becks 50 free (46th, 23.12) Natalie Griffith 400 IM (41st, 4:19.31) Lauren Medina 200 free (49th, 1:48.90) Marcelle Miller 200 breast (24th, 2:15.06) Amy Ng 400 IM (48th, 4:20.18)

Complete Cal swimming information, including releases, top times, records and features, can be found on Cal's official web site at www.CalBears.com. Washington State's official web site is www.wsucougars.com.

Natalie Coughlin, a three-time NCAA and Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year, is looking to win both honors for the fourth consecutive time. Last season, Coughlin dominated her sport like no other swimmer, breaking three world, seven American and three NCAA records. Her outstanding performances and achievements consistently generated significant recognition, as she was named the 2002 World Swimmer of the Year by Swimming World in December and was one of five finalists for the 73rd Annual AAU James E. Sullivan Memorial Award given to the nation's top amateur athlete for the second consecutive year. In three seasons at Cal, Coughlin has nine NCAA titles and a perfect Pac-10 dual meet race record of 43-0. She has broken a total of six world records, 34 American records and holds 11 Cal school records.


HEAD COACH Teri McKeever
In just 11 years of leading the Golden Bears, Teri McKeever has set the Cal women's swimming program apart as one of the most elite in the nation. During that time, McKeever has compiled an impressive 93-40 dual meet record (.699). With 16 years experience as a head coach, McKeever boasts a 147-62 overall record, good for a .703 winning percentage record (five years as women's head coach at Fresno State). Nine out of the 11 years she has coached in Berkeley, the Bears have encompassed winning seasons. And, in the last seven seasons, McKeever has led Cal to Top 10 national finishes every year, including an eighth place showing at the 2003 NCAA Championships. In addition to her schedule of coaching the Bears, McKeever served as an assistant women's coach of the U.S. National Team at the 2003 FINA World Championships and at the 2003 Mutual of Omaha U.S. vs. Australia 'Duel in the Pool'.

Whitney Hite was named the new assistant coach for Cal's women's swimming program on May 28, 2003. Hite comes to Berkeley after serving as an assistant coach with the University of Georgia's swimming staff for the past five years. With the Bulldogs, he helped Georgia's women's team to three straight national championships, 1999-2001. In 2002 and 2003, the Georgia women posted consecutive runner-up finishes. A four-year member of the men's swimming team at the University of Texas, Hite swam sprint freestyle for the Longhorns and graduated with a B.S. in sports management from Texas in 1997 and earned his master's degree in education from Georgia in 2001.

Tutoring both Cal's men and women divers for the 20th consecutive year is Phil Tonne, a former All-American diver at San Diego State. In 1991, Melissa Graviss became the first Cal diver to qualify for the NCAA Championship meet, earning All-American honors on the three-meter board. Graviss also qualified for the NCAAs in both the one and three-meter competition in 1992. Prior to coming to Cal in 1984, Tonne served in the same capacity at San Diego State from 1979 to 1984. Other coaching stints included a four-year stay at Palomar Junior College and Diablo Valley College in Concord. He currently also coaches a U.S. Diving Club Team in Walnut Creek, CA.

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