Coughlin Takes Top Awards at US Swimming Convention -- September 14, 2002
By Phillip Whitten
DALLAS, Sept. 14. NATALIE Coughlin swept both the USA Swimming "Swimmer of the Year" award and "Performance of the Year" award at the US Aquatic Sports Awards Banquet tonight in Dallas.
Coughlin, 19, a junior-to-be at the University of California-Berkeley, representing California Aquatics, became the first woman to break one minute for 100 meters backstroke, when she clocked an amazing 59.58 seconds at the US Summer Nationals in Ft. Lauderdale last month.
She also set American records in the 100m freestyle (53.99) and 200m backstroke (2:08.53), won five gold medals at Nationals and three individual golds at Pan Pacs.
Coughlin is coached by Teri McKeever.
The Athletes Appreciation Award went to Speedo, represented by Speedo V.P. Stu Isaac, who was attending his 30th annual convention. Isaac's first convention was in 1973, when the University of Michigan All-America breaststroker was an Athlete Rep.
The United States Swimming Award went to "Auntie" Alice Kempthorne, of Florida Gold Coast, for her many contribution as a meet official and service on committees dating back to the 1960s.
U.S. Masters Swimming Awards
Jim Montgomery, head coach of the Dallas Area Masters (DAM) won the USMS "Coach of the Year" Award. Montgomery was the first man to break 50 seconds for 100 meters freestyle, taking gold at the 1976 Olympics in 49.99 seconds. As a masters swimmer he has held several world records in his age group. With his partner, Bobby Patten, the Indiana University grad built hgis team from seven swimmers in 1981 to more than 500 today.
Masters Swimming's most prestigious award, the Ransom Arthur Award, went to Hugh and Jane Moore, not only for their many contributions to USMS, but to US Synchronized Swimming as well. In addition, Jane Moore, an M.D., has served as the physician for USA Swimming on several foreign trips.
USA Diving Awards
Kimiko Hinai Soldati was named "Athlete of the Year" by USA Diving. The Indiana University grad and MBA grad, won bronze and silver medals for the US in major international competitions in 2002.
Drew Johansson won the Mike Peppe Award, given to the outstandings enior diving coach of the year.
University of Miami coach Randy Ableman was honored with the Phil Boggs Memorial Award, given to an individual who perpetuaters the memory and philosophy of Olympic gold medalist Phil Boggs.
US Synchronized Swimming Awards
Anna Kozlova, a Russian immigrant, was named "USSS Athlete of the Year."
Chris Carver took the USSS "Coach of the Year" trophy for the eleventh consecutive year. Mary Ellen Wiegand won the Lillian MacKellar Distinguished Service Award.