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NCAA Div. I Women: Stanford Regains Pac-10 Crown; Cal's Coughlin Sets Second NCAA/American Record -- March 4, 2002

BELMONT SHORES, CA., March 2. ONLY a sophomore, Natalie Coughlin is rapidly establishing her bonafides as one of the greatest women swimmers in NCAA history.

For the second-consecutive day and her second-consecutive Pac-10 Championship, Cal sophomore Natalie Coughlin -- last year's NCAA Swimmer of the Year -- set an American/national-collegiate record on the final evening of this year's meet.

Swimming in her third individual race of the meet, Coughlin blasted her own 200 back standard (1:51.02) with an amazing -- really, that's the only word
that applies -- 1:50.90.

In the team race, Stanford won its 19th Pac-10 title in 21 tries with a 1320.5-1197.5 margin over runner-up USC (the Trojans' best finish ever).

Arizona's Wildcats, 2000 champs, were third with Cal fourth and defending champ UCLA fifth.

What is even more amazing about Coughlin's 200 back record is that for 150+ yards she was behind her record-breaking pace from last year's NCAAs. Indeed, at 100 yards she was more than a second off what she swam it in last season at East Meadow (53.44-54.51). Even at 150 yards she trailed (1:22.74-1:23.02). But her final 50 of 27.98 vs. 28.79 from '01 put paid to
1:51.02 and made her the first (and, of course, only) woman ever under 1:51.0.

For that matter she's the only woman ever under 1:52.0 and one of only two under 1:53.0 -- and as the song goes, "You can't take that away from her."

Before Coughlin came along to first break the record at last year's Pac-10s with her 1:52.73, the record had been 1:52.98 by Texas' Whitney Hedgepeth from the 1992 NCAAs in her home pool at Austin.

So in the space of a year Coughlin has sent the record reeling from 1:52.98 to 1:50.90 -- with NCAAs (at Austin) still three weeks away!

Coughlin had set an American/NCAA record in the 100 back the previous evening after -- AFTER -- wining the 200 free in 1:43.30, history's third-fastest time and only .02 off the American record.

To make sure Coughlin got in a "good workout," she also swam the second leg of Cal's 400 free relay, splitting 47.62 -- fastest of the meet. (Stanford's
Jenny Thompson's American/NCAA 100 free record is 47.61].

So...with all major conference championships completed, Coughlin ranks numero uno in the 50-100-200 frees, both backstrokes and is among the leaders in the 100 fly and 200 IM. Too bad she can only swim three individual events and on four relays at NCAAs, else she'd win the meet by herself (well, we exaggerate, but only slightly).

However, the Cal supersoph wasn't the only headline maker. Stanford senior Shelly Ripple set a meet-record (1:53.50) en route to winning the 200 fly.
Ripple's time is only .14 off the NCAA record of 1:53.36 by Nevada Reno's Limin Liu -- the '94 World Champion -- from three years ago.

The American record is 1:52.99 by former Cal All-America and Olympic triple gold medalist Mary T. Meagher, who set it at the 1981 U.S. Nationals at
Harvard. (Yes, that's right, the record's lasted for 21 years; and her 200 fly wr that T. set in the summer of '81 lasted until the Australian Olympic Trials two years ago, when Susie O'Neill finally broke it.)

The Stanford record is 1:53.43 by Summer Sanders from the '92 NCAAs. Four months later Sanders won an Olympic gold in this race at Barcelona.

Ripple also led off thw Cardinal 400 free relay in 49.82, her pr and the only sub 50.0 opening leg.

The most exciting race of the evening was the 200 breast, where Arizona State's defending Olympic and World Champion Agnes Kovacs of Hungary was up against Stanford's Tara Kirk, who had broken the American/NCAA record for the 100 breast Friday night with her 58.68.

When the swimmers hit the final touchpad, Kovacs had won by a mere .04, 2:07.75-2:07.79 -- first and second nationally by a wide margin and a Pac-10 meet and conference record. The American/NCAA record is 2:07.66 by Georgia's Kristy Kowal from the '99 NCAAs in her home pool at Athens, site of this year's men's NCAA D1 Championships in four weeks.

Kovacs was ahead of Kowal's pace for 150 yards (1:34.09-1:34.83) but her final 50 (33.86) was slower than Kowal's 32.83 and therein lies the difference. Kovacs also had swum a 2:07.98 at the Longhorn Invitational in Austin last December, then history's second-fastest clocking (her Pac-10 record now displaces that.)

Tonight Kovacs was out in a sizzling 1:01.66, far and away the quickest 100 ever in a 200. When Kowal, a 59.0 100 breasttroker, went that 2:07.6 in Athens,
she split 1:01.99, three tenths slower than Kovacs' time -- and Kovacs has yet to break a minute for the 100 flat start. Go figure.

At any rate, Kovcs still has NCAAs to get the record. Her long course meters pr is about a second faster than Kowal's American record from the Sydney Olympics, so the Hungarian froshwoman should be able to go 2:06 if the stars are in their proper alignment and the swimming gods are smiling, right [ASU coach] Mike Chasson?

Kirk's great time -- a Cardinal record -- surpasses her old pr of 2:08.54 that won last season's Pac-10s, and is third-fastest ever (performer-performance). She's now lost twice to Kovacs so perhaps she'll
return the favor at Austin -- after all, they always say "the third time is the charm."

Arizona's Sarah Tolar, runner-up to Coughlin in the 200 free in a pr and Wildcat record 1:44.92 (second nationally), went another pr and AU-record 49.32 to win the 100 free.

Runner-up in the 200 back was USC'S British Olympian Joanna Fargus, who, until joining Coach Mark Schubert's team in late January, had never swum in a
yards pool. She's adapted well, finishing second in the 100 back (54 low) and tonight going a pr 1:54.66 to take the silver in the 200 back.

Fargus' time ranks third nationally, and is a quarter-second off Lindsay Benko's Trojan record (1:54.42) that won the gold at the '97 NCAAs in her hometown of Indianapolis.

Benko was a member of the United States' Olympic gold-medal winning 800 free relay team from Sydney, and is the world-leader this season in the 200 and 400 meter free (sc meters) going into next month's World Championships at Moscow.

She was also among the favorites in the 200 free at last summer's World Championships (lcm) but a freak knee injury just before the meet began rendered her hors de combat.

In the 1650 free, Stanford's Jessica Foschi, defending NCAA 500 free champ but who lost to Arizona frosh emily Mason Thursday night, won handily with a
national No. 2 16:08.46. Florida's Janelle Atkinson's 16:05+ leads the rankings. Foschi's pr is 16:03.47 from the '01 NCAAs that got her the silver medal.

-- Bill Bell


2002 WOMEN'S PAC-10 SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS
BELMONT PLAZA OLYMPIC POOL
BELMONT SHORES, CA., March 2

25 Yd. Pool

FINAL TEAM STANDINGS

Stanford 1320.5
USC 1197.5
Arizona 1151.5
California 1096
UCLA 1064
Arizona St. 818.5
Oregon St. 477
Washington 449.5
Washington St. 401.5

Results

** American/NCAA Record

*# Meet Record/2nd Performer-Performance All-TIme

* Meet Record

EVENT: 15 WOMEN'S 1650 YARD FREESTYLE

NCAA RECORD 15:39.14 JANET EVANS STANFORD 1990
PAC-10 RECORD 15:39.14 JANET EVANS STANFORD 1990
MEET RECORD 15:53.77 JANET EVANS STANFORD 1990
QUALIFYING FOR NCAA AUTOMATIC 16:29.21
QUALIFYING FOR NCAA OPTIONAL 16:58.88
FINAL RESULTS TIMED FINALS

RANK NAME YEAR TEAM TIME

1) FOSCHI, JESSICA SR STANFORD 16:08.46
:26.67 :55.24 1:24.13 1:53.10 2:22.26 2:51.50
3:20.69 3:49.91 4:19.39 4:48.71 5:18.02 5:47.37
6:16.76 6:46.07 7:15.60 7:45.17 8:14.61 8:44.13
9:13.73 9:43.29 10:12.92 10:42.43 11:12.10 11:41.85
12:11.48 12:41.20 13:11.01 13:40.68 14:10.57 14:40.47
15:10.16 15:39.68 16:08.46
2) TOWNSEND, BROOKE ARIZONA STATE 16:23.07
:27.67 :56.77 1:26.30 1:55.99 2:25.70 2:55.54
3:25.32 3:55.19 4:24.92 4:54.66 5:24.49 5:54.36
6:24.21 6:54.12 7:24.02 7:53.80 8:23.82 8:53.76
9:23.73 9:53.77 10:23.67 10:53.56 11:23.59 11:53.55
12:23.63 12:53.68 13:23.74 13:53.72 14:23.75 14:53.89
15:23.90 15:53.76 16:23.07
3) DEARY, MELISSA USC 16:25.96
:27.90 :57.57 1:27.35 1:57.19 2:26.99 2:56.79
3:26.72 3:56.54 4:26.46 4:56.48 5:26.09 5:56.03
6:26.20 6:56.23 7:26.35 7:56.32 8:26.37 8:56.28
9:26.66 9:56.60 10:26.26 10:56.35 11:26.15 11:55.96
12:26.24 12:57.04 13:26.86 13:56.59 14:26.96 14:57.07
15:27.12 15:57.41 16:25.96
4) WHITNEY, ASHLEY CALIFORNIA 16:26.81
:28.37 :58.50 1:28.89 1:59.14 2:29.47 2:59.58
3:29.46 3:59.58 4:29.65 4:59.88 5:30.05 5:59.92
6:29.92 6:59.88 7:29.89 7:59.79 8:29.43 8:58.85
9:28.14 9:57.71 10:27.43 10:57.02 11:26.66 11:56.46
12:26.15 12:56.21 13:26.06 13:56.27 14:26.48 14:56.87
15:27.33 15:58.01 16:26.81
5) STANFORD, MANDY SR ARIZONA STATE 16:29.67
:27.56 :57.00 1:27.01 1:56.98 2:26.89 2:56.85
3:26.97 3:57.14 4:27.22 4:57.40 5:27.49 5:57.64
6:27.62 6:57.63 7:27.87 7:58.02 8:28.12 8:58.36
9:28.57 9:58.86 10:29.05 10:59.05 11:29.13 11:59.16
12:29.50 12:59.76 13:29.86 14:00.25 14:30.41 15:00.71
15:30.69 16:00.70 16:29.67
6) SANDLUND, ASA USC 16:32.90
:28.06 :57.83 1:27.51 1:57.50 2:27.50 2:57.32
3:27.62 3:57.61 4:27.87 4:57.99 5:27.63 5:57.69
6:27.79 6:57.86 7:27.95 7:57.96 8:27.89 8:58.17
9:28.21 9:58.28 10:28.30 10:58.57 11:28.90 11:59.27
12:29.87 13:00.37 13:30.86 14:01.32 14:31.56 15:02.39
15:32.56 16:02.99 16:32.90
7) HIGASHIJIMA, NAYA OREGON STATE 16:34.60
:28.16 :58.00 1:28.16 1:58.07 2:28.29 2:58.28
3:28.27 3:58.47 4:28.65 4:58.74 5:28.73 5:59.01
6:29.23 6:59.72 7:30.09 8:00.24 8:30.34 9:00.51
9:30.66 10:00.85 10:31.23 11:01.38 11:31.81 12:02.20
12:32.48 13:02.98 13:33.35 14:03.74 14:34.07 15:04.55
15:34.90 16:05.15 16:34.60
8) LOBDELL, JACKIE SO UCLA 16:37.71
:27.66 :57.53 1:27.74 1:58.15 2:28.57 2:58.65
3:28.82 3:59.19 4:29.45 4:59.75 5:29.96 5:59.95
6:29.96 7:00.23 7:30.38 8:00.78 8:31.32 9:01.77
9:32.23 10:02.80 10:33.31 11:03.71 11:34.24 12:05.04
12:35.85 13:06.15 13:36.77 14:07.03 14:37.32 15:07.65
15:38.14 16:08.69 16:37.71

EVENT: 16 WOMEN'S 200 YARD BACKSTROKE

NCAA RECORD 1:51.02 NATALIE COUGHLIN CALIFORNIA 2001
PAC-10 RECORD 1:51.02 NATALIE COUGHLIN CALIFORNIA 2001
MEET RECORD 1:52.73 NATALIE COUGHLIN CALIFORNIA 2001
QUALIFYING FOR NCAA AUTOMATIC 1:58.70
QUALIFYING FOR NCAA OPTIONAL 2:02.26

FINAL RESULTS
PLACE NAME YEAR TEAM TRIALS FINALS

CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL

1) COUGHLIN, NATALIE CALIFORNIA 1:56.23 1:50.90
**
:26.34 :54.51 1:23.02 1:50.90
** AMERICAN/NCAA RECORD PAC-10 RECORD MEET RECORD
2) FARGUS, JOANNA USC 1:57.85 1:54.66
:27.55 :56.27 1:25.54 1:54.66
3) BOTSFORD, BETH ARIZONA 1:58.33 1:56.53
:27.99 :57.85 1:27.37 1:56.53
4) YOKOUCHI, KYOKO CALIFORNIA 1:58.65 1:57.14
:27.83 :57.28 1:27.18 1:57.14
5) MEYER, KATIE SR USC 1:59.24 1:57.44
:27.17 :56.51 1:26.71 1:57.44
6) HAYES, JESSICA ARIZONA 1:58.02 1:57.46
:27.95 :57.22 1:27.09 1:57.46
7) HENRIQUES, ALICE SR CALIFORNIA 1:57.59 1:57.93
:28.16 :57.94 1:27.79 1:57.93
8) OAKLAND, ALEXIS SR STANFORD 1:58.88 2:00.80
:28.17 :58.20 1:29.18 2:00.80

EVENT: 17 WOMEN'S 100 YARD FREESTYLE

NCAA RECORD :47.61 JENNY THOMPSON STANFORD 1992
PAC-10 RECORD :47.61 JENNY THOMPSON STANFORD 1992
MEET RECORD :48.89 JENNY THOMPSON STANFORD 1992
QUALIFYING FOR NCAA AUTOMATIC :49.66
QUALIFYING FOR NCAA OPTIONAL :51.14

FINAL RESULTS
PLACE NAME YEAR TEAM TRIALS FINALS

CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL

1) TOLAR, SARAH SR ARIZONA :50.36 :49.32
:23.83 :49.32
2) BOUTWELL, LACEY STANFORD :49.68 :49.38
:23.66 :49.38
2) PLATZER, SARA SO UCLA :49.69 :49.38
:23.73 :49.38
4) HARADA, KIM WASHINGTON :49.78 :49.69
:24.13 :49.69
5) SVAHNSTROM, MALIN FR UCLA :50.29 :49.88
:24.19 :49.88
6) VANKER, JENNY SR ARIZONA :50.49 :49.99
:23.85 :49.99
7) PARMENTER, JENNY USC :50.38 :50.41
:24.44 :50.41
8) BRENNEN, KRISTEN ARIZONA :50.55 :50.52
:24.28 :50.52

EVENT: 18 WOMEN'S 200 YARD BREASTSTROKE

NCAA RECORD 2:07.66 KRISTY KOWAL GEORGIA 1999
PAC-10 RECORD 2:08.54 TARA KIRK STANFORD 2001
MEET RECORD 2:08.54 TARA KIRK STANFORD 2001
QUALIFYING FOR NCAA AUTOMATIC 2:14.33
QUALIFYING FOR NCAA OPTIONAL 2:18.35

FINAL RESULTS
PLACE NAME YEAR TEAM TRIALS FINALS

CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL

1) KOVACS, AGNES ARIZONA STATE 2:12.10 2:07.75
*#
:29.29 1:01.66 1:34.09 2:07.75
*# PAC-10 RECORD MEET RECORD
2) KIRK, TARA STANFORD 2:12.40 2:07.79
:29.09 1:01.88 1:35.26 2:07.79
3) FISCHER, ELVIRA SR UCLA 2:13.65 2:10.86
:30.31 1:03.34 1:36.98 2:10.86
4) STITTS, STACIANA CALIFORNIA 2:15.49 2:12.03
:29.66 1:02.36 1:36.77 2:12.03
5) MANTS, RILEY SR ARIZONA STATE 2:13.06 2:12.04
:30.01 1:03.73 1:37.64 2:12.04
6) STEVEN, BIRTE OREGON STATE 2:14.79 2:12.99
:30.23 1:04.07 1:38.41 2:12.99
7) NODDLE, JEN SR UCLA 2:15.01 2:15.10
:30.69 1:04.63 1:39.31 2:15.10
8) GILBERT, KIRSTEN STANFORD 2:16.24 2:17.13
:30.68 1:05.41 1:41.00 2:17.13

EVENT: 19 WOMEN'S 200 YARD BUTTERFLY

NCAA RECORD 1:53.36 LIMIN LIU NEVADA 1999
PAC-10 RECORD 1:53.42 SUMMER SANDERS STANFORD 1992
MEET RECORD 1:55.25 MISTY HYMAN STANFORD 2001
QUALIFYING FOR NCAA AUTOMATIC 1:59.83
QUALIFYING FOR NCAA OPTIONAL 2:03.42

FINAL RESULTS
PLACE NAME YEAR TEAM TRIALS FINALS

CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL

1) RIPPLE, SHELLY SR STANFORD 1:57.21 1:53.50
*
:25.68 :54.36 1:23.49 1:53.50
* MEET RECORD
2) MASON, EMILY ARIZONA 1:59.45 1:56.60
:26.15 :55.19 1:25.76 1:56.60
3) BAHAM, SARAH SR ARIZONA STATE 2:00.54 1:56.81
:26.10 :55.78 1:26.02 1:56.81
4) KWASNY, MICHALA USC 1:57.70 1:57.33
:26.08 :55.02 1:25.66 1:57.33
5) SANDENO, KAITLIN USC 2:00.77 1:59.29
:26.83 :57.56 1:28.61 1:59.29
6) LEWIS, KRISTEN SO UCLA 1:59.61 1:59.99
:27.45 :57.67 1:28.97 1:59.99
7) HIGASHIJIMA, NAYA OREGON STATE 1:58.07 2:00.97
:27.60 :58.06 1:29.53 2:00.97
8) HILYARD, ANISSA WASHINGTON 2:01.15 2:01.64
:27.38 :57.73 1:29.37 2:01.64

EVENT: 20 WOMEN'S PLATFORM DIVING
SEMI
RANK NAME YEAR TEAM PRELIM FINALS FINALS

1 FUSARO, NICCI (D) USC .00 444.70 474.60
2 HARTLEY, BLYTHE (D) USC .00 460.35 463.95
3 GOSNELL, REGAN (D) JR UCLA .00 407.50 421.30
4 FEBVAY, CLAIRE (D) ARIZONA .00 444.50 420.20
5 MURPHY, MCKENZE (D) STANFORD .00 402.10 387.45
6 SORGI, ERICA (D) STANFORD .00 380.40 379.75
7 ROSENTHAL, ASHLEE(D) STANFORD .00 351.60 379.10
8 STRACK, JANINE (D) FR UCLA .00 357.55 339.90

EVENT: 21 WOMEN'S 400 YARD FREESTYLE RELAY

NCAA RECORD 3:14.52 TEXAS TEXAS 2001
PAC-10 RECORD 3:15.69 STANFORD STANFORD 1993
MEET RECORD 3:17.20 ARIZONA ARIZONA 1998
QUALIFYING FOR NCAA AUTOMATIC 3:19.71
QUALIFYING FOR NCAA OPTIONAL 3:25.70
FINAL RESULTS TIMED FINALS

RANK TEAM TIME

1) ARIZONA "A" 3:17.91
1) VANKER, JENNY SR :24.16 3) TOLAR, SARAH SR 2:02.97
:50.27 2:28.30
2) ZIMBONE, KATIE SR 1:13.99 4) BRENNEN, KRISTEN 2:52.04
1:39.82 3:17.91

2) STANFORD "A" 3:19.66
1) RIPPLE, SHELLY SR :24.03 3) CHAMPION, HALEY 2:03.82
:49.82 2:30.76
2) FOSCHI, JESSICA SR 1:13.85 4) BOUTWELL, LACEY 2:53.93
1:39.63 3:19.66

3) USC "A" 3:20.26
1) MAC GREGOR, KRISSR :24.34 3) KWASNY, MICHALA 2:04.19
:50.22 2:30.89
2) PARMENTER, JENNY 1:14.08 4) FARGUS, JOANNA 2:54.43
1:40.17 3:20.26

4) CALIFORNIA "A" 3:20.86
1) BECKS, DANIELLE :24.26 3) BURDEN, MICHA 2:02.95
:51.32 2:29.94
2) COUGHLIN, NATALI 1:14.03 4) STITTS, STACIANA 2:53.72
1:38.94 3:20.86

5) ASU "A" 3:22.48
1) BAHAM, SARAH SR :24.30 3) SZIGETI, FLORENC 2:04.80
:50.63 2:30.86
2) HENDENSKOG, CLAI 1:14.17 4) MAURO, FLORENCE 2:55.40
1:40.63 3:22.48

6) UCLA "A" 3:22.81
1) PLATZER, SARA SO :24.29 3) NIETO, JEANNETTEFR 2:05.11
:50.27 2:32.38
2) SHUGART, ERICA JR 1:14.33 4) SVAHNSTROM, MALIFR 2:56.24
1:40.79 3:22.81

7) WASHINGTON "A" 3:27.18
1) HARADA, KIM :24.48 3) JOHNSON, DESIREE 2:06.93
:50.25 2:34.67
2) FANNING, LISA 1:14.32 4) VAYO, ANNETTE 2:59.62
1:42.64 3:27.18

8) WASHINGTON STATE "A" 3:28.11
1) HENAHAN, LINDSAYJR :24.97 3) COHEN, BECCA JR 2:08.85
:52.52 2:35.77
2) HUBLEY, MELISSA JR 1:17.30 4) SCHMIED, SARA JR 3:00.18
1:44.37 3:28.11