Cal alumna Natalie Coughlin won the bronze medal in the 100-meter backstroke championship final on Wednesday night at the 2010 Mutual of Omaha Pan Pacific Championships held at the William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center in Irvine, Calif. The U.S. Olympic star posted a time of 59.70 to take third in the event.
In other action, Cal senior Hannah Wilson clocked a time of 27.01 to take seventh place for Hong Kong in the 50-meter butterfly championship final, while former Bears All-American and New Zealand star Lauren Boyle finished ninth in the 800 freestyle in a time of 8:36.65.
Erstwhile Cal star Dana Vollmer clocked a time of 1:56.47 to win the consolation final of the 200 free. That time would have given her the 200-free silver medal had she reached the championship final. However, only two swimmers from each country qualify for the top race, and Vollmer had posted the third-best U.S. preliminary time.
In the first women's prelims on Thursday, Aug. 19, Vollmer and Coughlin finished 1-2 overall in the 100 free heats, with respective times of 54.01 and 54.09. Wilson finished 16th (55.24), former Cal All-American Madison Kennedy, swimming for the United States, placed 24th (55.67) and Boyle wound up 46th (56.96) in the 100 free heats.
However, with only two swimmers per country advancing to the championship and consolation finals, some swimmers' placements were affected. Wilson actually moved up to seventh place and into the top race on Thursday night. Kennedy was also affected and technically finished 29th after the finalists were determined. Boyle remained 46th.
Cal sophomore Caitlin Leverenz, who will compete in the 400-meter individual medley, is apparently the only other Bear slated to swim in Thursday's morning prelims.