Dec. 11, 2002
The United States Olympic Committee announced today the selection of Natalie Coughlin as its November 2002 Female Athlete of the Month. Coughlin amassed 45 first place votes, with the second-highest first-place vote total being nine.
This is the second time this year that the University of California junior swimmer has earned the USOC distinction. She was also awarded the honor in August for her world record and history-making 100-meter backstroke (59.58) swim.
Coughlin, from Concord, Calif., had an outstanding November, as she became just the second American to break three world records in two days. She broke the 100scm butterfly (56.34) world mark on Nov. 22 in East Meadow, N.Y. at the U.S. FINA World Cup. Coughlin followed that performance the next day by lowering her 100scm backstroke (56.71) record and then broke the 100scm IM (58.80) world record. She also posted an American record finish in the 50scm backstroke (27.08) on the first day of competition.
Coughlin, a two-time NCAA Swimmer of the Year, has won six individual NCAA titles and was named the recipient of the 2001-02 Honda Sport Award Winner for swimming. A 2002 finalist for the AAU James E. Sullivan Award as the nation's top amateur athlete, she has now broken six world records and 33 American records. Coughlin currently holds 10 school records and has the top time in the nation for seven of 13 individual events.
Catch Coughlin next in action in Berkeley Jan. 31, 2003, as Cal hosts USC in its first home Pac-10 dual meet of the season.