May 17, 2008
Berkeley - Former California Golden Bear Natalie Coughlin broke her own 100m freestyle American record Friday night at the Toyota International Invitational Grand Prix in Santa Clara, while current Cal junior All-American Dana Vollmer took first place honors in the 100 fly.
Coughlin finished with a time of 53.39 to earn silver behind Australia's Cate Campbell, who won gold with a new U.S. Open time of 53.30. Lacey Nymeyer (Tucson, Ariz.) was third in 54.92.
A total of four meet records fell during the first full day of competition in Santa Clara. In addition to the women's 100m free, records were broken in the men's 100m breast, 200m free, 200m fly and the women's 400m free.
Vollmer (Granbury, Tex.), who took the gold in the women's 100m fly, maintained her lead after the first 50-meters to finish in 58.52. Mary DeScenza (Naperville, Ill.) took home the silver in 59.21 and Elaine Breeden (Lexington, Ky.) was third in 59.66. Vollmer is also a two-time Pac-10 champion in the 100 fly (2007-08), and came in second place at the NCAAs earlier in March.
Vollmer also collected a gold medal at the Stanford Grand Prix (Apr. 7) when she touched the wall in pool record time of 58.59 in the 100 fly.
Vollmer is striving for a spot on her second U.S. Olympic team after winning a gold medal in 2004 as part of the 800-meter freestyle relay. Her extensive international resume includes winning a gold medal and setting a world record in the 800 free relay and earning a silver medal in the 400 free relay at the 2007 World Championships; earning a gold medal in the 800 free relay at the 2006 Pan Pacific Championships; and winning three gold medals at the 2003 Pan Am Games (200 free, 400 medley relay, 800 free relay). In 2000 at the age of 12, she was the youngest competitor at the U.S. Olympic Trials. As a collegian, Vollmer has won a pair of Pac-10 titles in the 100-yard butterfly, and she broke Mary T. Meagher's 1986 Cal dual record in the 200 fly with a time of 1:53.96 vs. Stanford this past February. She captured the 2007 NCAA title in the 100 fly (50.69) and was runner-up (51.32) in 2008. Vollmer swam her freshman year at Florida, where she earned All-America honors in four relays.
Japan's Izumi Kato won gold in the women's 200m breast with a time of 2:27.69. Amanda Beard (Irvine, Calif.) placed second in 2:28.15 and Jessica Schmitt (San Diego, Calif.) placed third in 2:28.41.
The meet continues Saturday with 10 events. The women's competition includes finals in the 400m I.M., 100m breast, 200m free, 100m back and 800m free relay. The men's program features finals in the 100m fly, 400m free, 200m back, and 50m free and 800m free relay. Prelims begin at 9 a.m. and finals start at 5 p.m.