June 30, 2008
Omaha, Neb. - Cal legend Natalie Coughlin set a world record of 59.03 in the preliminaries of the 100-meter backstroke at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Trials on Monday morning. The world record actually fell twice in prelims when Hayley McGregory first broke Coughlin's previous world record with a time of 59.15 in heat No. 15. Two minutes later, Coughlin reclaimed the crown. The record before Monday's prelims was set by Coughlin at 59.21 at the Missouri Grand Prix on Feb. 17.
"The original goal is just to make top 16 and conserve, but I really didn't want her (McGergory) to have it for very long," Coughlin said. "Really, the only goal of this meet is to put yourself on the Olympic team."
Current Golden Bear Lauren Rogers, along with Coughlin, advanced to finals of the 100 back (slated for Tuesday night) after placing in the top 8 of the semifinals in the nightcap. Coughlin posted a 59.74 (second-fastest), while Rogers posted the fourth-fastest semifinal time of 1:00.76.
Other Cal notables included Dana Vollmer, who swam a fifth-place time of 58.64 in the finals of the 100-meter butterfly on Monday night. Vollmer will be back in action on Tuesday morning in the 200-meter fly preliminaries.
USA Network will carry tonight's action at 8:00 p.m. (PT). Please check your local listings for channel lineup. Additionally, fans can follow all the action via the web at NBCOlympics.com and USASwimming.org.