April 5, 2001
WALNUT CREEK, CA - Cal's freshman swimming standout Natalie Coughlin notched another accolade to her outstanding 2000-01 season as she was named both the Pacific-10 Conference Newcomer of the Year and Swimmer of the Year. It was the first time in Pac-10 history someone has been named both conference Newcomer of the Year and Swimmer of the Year. Coughlin is also the third consecutive Cal swimmer to earn Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year honors (Marylyn Chiang in 1999, Haley Cope in 2000 and Coughlin in 2001) under head coach Teri McKeever.
Coughlin had what was arguably the greatest freshman campaign of any collegiate swimmer in NCAA history. She was named the 2001 NCAA Swimmer of the Year after winning the national title in the 100 fly and the 100 and 200 backstroke, while breaking NCAA records in all three events. She swam an NCAA record 51.18 in the 100 fly, an NCAA, American and U.S. Open record 51.23 in the 100 back, and a NCAA, American and U.S. Open record 1:51.02 in the 200 back.
Coughlin helped the Bears to three second-place NCAA finishes in the relays as well. She swam the butterfly leg of the Bears 400 medley relay (Cope, Staciana Stitts, Coughlin, Danielle Becks) that was an American record with a time of 3:34.83. Coughlin swam the butterfly leg on Cal's 200 medley relay (Cope, Stitts, Coughlin, Harper) that placed second and was also an American record with a time of 1:38.44. Finally, she swam the second leg of Cal's 200 free relay (Michelle Harper, Coughlin, Adrienne Mattos, Haley Cope) that set a new school record with a time of 1:30.05.
Coughlin then won USS National Swimming titles last week in Austin, TX in both in the 100-meter butterfly (59.38) and the 100-meter backstroke (1:01.32). Coughlin will represent the United States at the 2001 World Championship, July 22-29 in Fukuoka, Japan.