ATHENS, Georgia, November 1. THE #2-ranked Georgia Bulldogs beat the #4-ranked Golden Bears of Cal, 163-129 tonight in Athens, Gorgia, in a stirring women's dual meet between two of the nation's top swimming powers.
The Dawgs' victory was accomplished in spite of an awesome effort by Cal junior Natalie Coughlin, who won three individual events, all in nation-leading times.
Coughlin, the only woman ever to break a minute for 100 meters backstroke, began her triple with a speedy 53.62 win in the 100 yard backstroke.
Then she got better.
She followed up with a 51.90 second performance to take the 100 yard butterfly — a time only a handful of women have ever bettered, and that's when they've been rested and shaved.
Then she got bettered.
The 100 free pitted Cal's Coughlin against Georgia's Maritza Correia – the two fastest women in history in this event. Until last season's NCAAs, Jenny Thompson owned the American record in the 100 free at 47.61. Correia won the 100 in a record 47.56, but Coughlin came back to post a 47.47 leading off Cal's relay.
Tonight it was all Coughlin, as she swam to a sterling 48.06 time. Correia was hardly a slouch, swimming 48.94 — the second-fastest 100 thus far this season.
We'll have full results for y'all later tonight.