SAN DIEGO, April 3. TO the surprise of precisely no one, the University of California's Natalie Coughlin was named the top woman college swimmer for the 2001-2002 school year by American Honda Motor Company.
The Honda Award is given to the top female college athlete in each sport, then an overall winner is named. There is no comparable award for men.
Coughlin set mind-boggling American records in the 100 yard fly (50.01), 100 back (49.97) and 200 back (1:49.52). She also swam on two second-place relay teams.
Coughlin is also one of five finalists for the Sullivan Award, honoring the nation's top amateur athlete.
Previous Honda Award winners for swimming include Misty Hyman (1998, 2001), Jenny Thompson (1995), Summer Sanders (1992) and Janet Evans (1990).
Cristina Teuscher, Mary t. Meagher, Tracy Caulkins and Jill Sterkel have all won the Honda-Broderick Cup, honoring Honda's Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year.