Aug. 16, 2002
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Junior Natalie Coughlin notched her fifth win and Cal head coach Teri McKeever won the George Haines Coach of the Meet award at the U.S. National Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Friday.
Coughlin set a new American record in the 200-meter backstroke (2:08.53) and became the first swimmer since Tracy Caulkins in 1978 to win five events at a National Championships.
Coughlin started out the week with a win over 10-time Olympic medalist Jenny Thompson in the 100m fly. She bested that by setting the world record in the 100m backstroke on Tuesday, becoming the first woman to swim the race in under one minute. Her record time of 59.58 broke China's Cihong He's 1994 mark of 1:00.16. Wednesday, she broke the U.S. Nationals record in the 200m free with a time of 1:58.20 and yesterday she won the 100m free in 54.66.
The championships conclude Saturday with the final women's 1500m and men's 800m freestyle events. Cal has finished its competing and currently ranks second in the women's team standings.
McKeever was named an assistant coach for women's team at the Pan-Pacific Games. Coughlin, Cope and Anthony Ervin will compete at the games, which take place August 24-29 in Yokohama, Japan.