BERKELEY, Calif., Jan. 31. THE No. 6 ranked Cal women's swim team (5-1) will travel to No. 10 ranked USC, Friday, Feb. 1 and No. 11 ranked UCLA, Saturday, Feb. 2 for a pair of Pac-10 dual meets. The USC meet takes place Feb. 1 at 1:00 pm at the McDonald's Swim Stadium. The UCLA meet is scheduled for 1:00 pm on Feb. 2 at the Sunset Canyon Rec Pool.
The Bears will feature Natalie Coughlin, the 2001 Pac-10 and NCAA Swimmer of the Year, who is undefeated (20-0) in Pac-10 dual meet races.
COUGHLIN FINALIST FOR SULLIVAN AWARD: Natalie Coughlin, a sophomore swimmer at Cal, has been named one of the 14 finalists for the 72nd Annual AAU James E. Sullivan Memorial Award that recognizes the top amateur athlete in the nation. Narrowed from a field of 30 nominees, the first-round finalists will be reduced to five athletes and their names will be released in mid-March. From the five names, the national winner will be formally recognized in early April.
Over a five-day span earlier this fall, Coughlin won nine events and in the process set two world records, four American records and six meet records. At the FINA World Cup in East Meadow, NY, Nov. 27-28, she broke the 100 (57.08) and 200 (2:03.52) short course meters world records. In the 50 fly (25.83), Coughlin broke the US Open record.
She then traveled to the Texas Invitational Nov. 30-Dec. 2 in Austin, TX and broke the American record in the 100 back (50.90) and posted times that lead the nation in the 50 free (22.21), 100 free (47.76), 200 free (1:43.77) and 100 fly (51.22).
ADDITIONAL COUGHLIN NOTES: Last season, Coughlin was the third consecutive Bear women swimmer to be named Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year (Marylyn Chiang in 1999, Haley Cope in 2000 and Coughlin in 2001). During last season's Pac-10 dual meet schedule, Coughlin won all 15 races she entered and was the NCAA champion and record holder in the 100 fly, 100 back and 200 back. Coughlin is also the Cal school record holder in the 50 free, 100 free and 200 free, and is on school record-setting 200 medley relay, 400 medley relay and 200 free relays.
BEARS SWEEP ARIZONA SCHOOLS: Last weekend at Spieker Aquatics Complex, Cal defeated No. 7 ranked Arizona State, 173-125, and No. 3 ranked Arizona, 135-108. Against the Sun Devils, Coughlin placed first in the 100 back (55.04), 200 IM (1:57.54) and 100 fly (53.43), while sophomore Danielle Becks won the 200 free (1:49.68), the 50 free (23.34) and the 100 free (50.51). Cal was also paced by junior Ashley Whitney, who captured the 1000 free (9:58.66) and the 500 free (4:53.57).
Other winners versus ASU were junior Staciana Stitts in the 100 breast (1:01.51) and senior Alice Henriques in the 200 back (1:57.91). Cal also captured the 200 medley relay (1:41.51, Coughlin, Stitts, Henriques, junior Michelle Harper).
Against Arizona, Coughlin placed first in the 200 free (1:48.96) and 500 free (4:44.61). Her time in the 500 free was a new Spieker Aquatics Complex record, topping the time of 4:44.91 set by Stanford's Janet Evans on Feb. 16, 1991. Becks won the 50 (23.48) and 100 free (50.66). Other winners for Cal were Henriques in the 200 back (1:58.70) and Stitts in the 200 breast (2:13.66). Cal also captured the 400 medley relay (3:43.72, Henriques, Stitts, sophomore Natalie Griffith, Becks).
HEAD COACH TERI MCKEEVER: Teri McKeever, the 1999 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, is in her 10th season as Cal's head women's swim coach. McKeever has an 83-36 (.697) dual meet record with the Golden Bears and a 137-58 (.703) overall record (five years as women's coach at Fresno State). In the last five seasons, she has led Cal to a ninth place NCAA finish in 1997, a eighth place finish in 1998, a fifth place finish in 1999, a fourth place finish in 2000 and a seventh place finish in 2001.
NOTING THE OPPONENTS: Cal has a 11-11 all-time dual meet record versus USC and a 10-10 all-time dual meet record versus UCLA. USC ended up finishing sixth, Cal seventh and UCLA 15th at the 2001 NCAA Championships. The