May 22, 2003
LONG BEACH, Calif. - University of California junior swimming star Natalie Coughlin was named to the 2003 Verizon Academic All-District VIII Women's At-Large second team. The teams, as selected by CoSIDA, included 33 female student athletes representing 21 different NCAA Division I institutions. The at-large category includes student athletes in the following sports: crew, gymnastics, skiing, fencing, ice hockey, swimming, water polo, field hockey, lacrosse, tennis, golf and rifle.
In order to be eligible for Academic All-America honors, a student athlete must have at least a 3.20 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale), must be a starter or an important reserve and be in at least their second season at their current school.
Coughlin, a psychology major, continues to add to her impressive collection of honors. In April, she was also a Pac-10 All-Academic second team selection. At the end of the 2003 swimming season, she received the Honda Award for Swimming and Diving which automatically nominates her for the Honda-Broderick Cup to be presented to the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year at a banquet to be held mid-June in New York City.
Coughlin had her finest season yet in 2002-03, and earned her third straight NCAA and Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year awards. At the 2003 NCAA Championships in March, she became the NCAA's first three-time titilist in the 100-yard butterfly and 100 and 200 backstroke. She owns the American and NCAA record in each of those events. At the Pac-10 Championships in Federal Way, Wash. Feb. 27-Mar. 1, Coughlin won three individual events, breaking her own American, NCAA and Cal school record in the 100 free with a time of 47.42.
In all, Coughlin set three world, seven American and three NCAA records during the 2002-03 season. In three seasons at Cal, Coughlin has nine national titles and a perfect Pac-10 dual meet race record (43-0). Other honors she earned this past year include the 2002 Swimmer of the Year by USA Swimming and 2002 Female World Swimmer of the Year by Swimmer's World magazine.
Coughlin was one of two Golden Bears selected as Verizon Academic All-Americans. Senior Michelle Orem, a member of the Cal women's crew team, was one of 10 first team selections. The first team members are now on the national Verizon Women's At-Large Academic All-America ballot. National All-America winners will be announced on Thursday, June 12, 2003.