PHOENIX, Arizona, March 22. EARLIER this evening at the women's Division I NCAA championships, Rachel Bootsma nearly broke Natalie Coughlin's legendary record of 49.97 in the 100 backstroke. Recently, on an episode of The Morning Swim Show, Coughlin looked back on her collegiate career and why that 49.97 will forever stand out as one of her most memorable swims.
Coughlin's success in the pool for the California Golden Bears almost didn't happen, as the Olympic legend says she considered quitting the sport after not making the Olympic team in 2000. But thanks to Cal head coach Teri McKeever, Coughlin found the physical and mental strength to win 11 individual NCAA titles — as well as nearly a dozen Olympic medals.
Coughlin's interview is part of a special series of episodes on The Morning Swim Show which featured past NCAA champions talking about their historic wins. Julia Wilkinson and Kristy Kowal also talked with host Jeff Commings about their time as student-athletes. The series continues next week with two legendary male NCAA champions: Texas' Ricky Berens and Florida's Martin Zubero. Don't miss it!