Kirk Sets American Record at Stanford-Cal Dual Meet, Coughlin Just Misses -- February 24, 2004
By Phillip Whitten
STANFORD, Calif., February 24. LOST in all the hoopla last week surrounding the Cal women's upset 151-149 victory over Stanford -- its first since 1976 -- was an American record swum by Stanford's Tara Kirk.
Kirk won the 100 meter (short course) breast in a career-best 1:05.77 to remain unbeaten collegiately in the event with her 33rd consecutive victory. Her time just missed the American record of 1:05.74 set by Kristy Kowal of Georgia at the 2000 NCAA Championships.
Missed was the record Kirk set en route to her victory. Kirk's 50 meter split time -- 30.87 -- shaved .01 off the previous American record of 30.88.
Cal's Natalie Coughlin just missed the American-record in the 100 free (52.92) with her 53.00 and in the 50 was just shy of former Stanford star Jenny Thompson's record with her 24.60. In the 100 fly, Coughlin's winning 56.64 was three-tenths short of her own world record of 56.34 set at the World Cup in New York in November of 2002.