Dec. 7, 2002
AUBURN, Ala. -- - Junior Natalie Coughlin, who set the 200-yard freestyle record Friday night at the Auburn Invitational at Auburn, Ala., destroyed the oldest American record on the books in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:51.91. That mark bests former Cal standout Mary T. Meagher's American and U.S. Open record of 1:52.99, set Apr. 8, 1981, by over a second. The No. 9 Golden Bears placed second at the invitational with 744 points, behind host No. 1 Auburn (1,002 points).
"This was an exceptional weekend for Natalie, especially for it being mid-season," Cal head coach Teri McKeever said. "She really put forth a gutsy performance, not just in breaking the records tonight and last night, but coming back 15 minutes later tonight to lead off the (400 free) relay and going 48.00."
With the two American records she set over the weekend, Coughlin, a two-time NCAA Swimmer of the Year, has now broken 33 American records in her career.
The Golden Bears won two other events, as Coughlin lead the 400 freestyle relay team of herself, junior Danielle Becks, senior Staciana Stitts and freshman Cheryl Anne Bingaman to a victory with an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 3:19.37. Stitts also won the 200-yard breaststroke with an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 2:13.63.
Cal's swimmers performed well in the final day of competition, posting several NCAA consideration times and notching four bonus and consolation final wins. Freshmen Ashley Chandler and Kate Tiedeman both placed in the 1650 free finals with NCAA consideration times. Chandler finished third in 16:29.15, while Tiedeman was sixth in 16:43.75. Freshman Helen Silver placed fifth in the 200-yard backstroke with an NCAA consideration time of 1:59.63, while sophomore Amy Ng won the 200 back bonus final in 2:02.97. Becks finished third with an NCAA consideration time (50.48) in the 100 free, while Bingaman won the 100 free bonus final (51.47) and sophomore Emma Palsson won the 100 free consolation final (51.96). Freshman Flora Kong won the 200 fly bonus final with an NCAA consideration time of 2:01.99.
Cal finishes the fall season with a 5-1 record and is next in action against Minnesota Jan. 11 in Maui, Hawaii. For complete results, visit www.auburntigers.com.
Auburn Invitational Cal Results (Dec. 7)
1650-yard freestyle - 3. Ashley Chandler 16:29.15, 6. Kate Tiedeman 16:43.75, 10. Lisa Morelli 17:08.01, 12. Lauren Medina 17:38.56; 200-yard backstroke - 5. Helen Silver 1:59.63, 9. Amy Ng 2:02.97, 14. Kate Tiedeman 2:07.70; 100-yard freestyle - 3. Danielle Becks 50.48, 9. Cheryl Anne Bingaman 51.47, 14. Michelle Harper 52.05, 17. Emma Palsson 51.96, 20. Whitney Rockwell 52.57, 23. Lauren Medina 53.51; 200-yard breaststroke - 1. Staciana Stitts 2:13.63, 5. Marcelle Miller 2:19.73, 11. Jenna Rais 2:22.26, 16. Erin Calder 2:26.17, 17. Amy Ng 2:21.65, 19. Gina Merlone 2:27.14; 200-yard butterfly - 1. Natalie Coughlin 1:51.91, 9. Flora Kong 2:01.99, 10. Natalie Griffith 2:03.75, 13. Lisa Morelli 2:05.93, 14. Ashley Chandler 2:06.46, 17. Jenna Rais 2:07.13; 400-yard freestyle relay - 1. Cal (Coughlin, Becks, Stitts, Bingaman) 3:19.37, 4. Cal (Chandler, Palsson, Silver, Rockwell) 3:28.39.