This second edition of the Speedo/College Swimming Coaches Association of American Top 25 list is almost a complete rewrite of the first edition, thanks to several invitational meets with great swims during the past couple of weeks. Natalie Coughlin is certainly on a roll these days. She set world short course meters records in the 100 and 200 backstrokes at the FINA World Cup meet Nov. 27-28 in East Meadow, New York (57.08-2:03.62). Then she traveled to Austin, Texas to compete in the Texas Invitational with her California teammates. All the sophomore did there was gain top times in the nation in the 50 free (22.21), 100 free (47.76), 200 free (1:43.77), 100 back (50.90) and 100 fly (51.22). The 100 back is an American and NCAA record. If you add in her 200 back time (1:50.76 converted), Natalie has six No. 1 times to her credit.
The University of Texas won both the men's and women's team titles. The Longhorns took top honors in the men's division, 669-549.5 over Arizona State. The women's squad posted 719 points, followed by Stanford's 598. Chris Kemp has the leading position in the 200 free with his 1:36.02 effort, and Brendan Hansen has control of the breaststroke top times (100 breast, 53.57; 200 breast, 1:56.09). USC's Klete Keller gained the top spot at the Texas Invitational in the 500 free (4:19.80) and 1650 free (14:52.27); he still holds the 1000 free top time with his 8:53.66 from November. Teammates Tamas Kerekjarto (200 IM, 1:45.74) and Erik Vendt (400 IM, 3:48.45) also are atop the leader board in their respective events. Other individual nation-leading times out of the Texas Invitational were swum by Stanford's Jessica Foschi (500 free, 4:38.95), Tara Kirk (100 breast, 59.51, the only sub-1 minute swim this season) and Shelly Ripple (200 fly, 1:55.12); Arizona's Roland Schoeman (50 free, 19.33r, 100 free, 43.10r) and Juan Veloz (1:44.50); and Cal's Alex Lim (100 back, 47.27r; 200 back, 1:43.43).
At the Georgia Invitational the same weekend, Georgia's women's team defeated Northwestern for the team title, 813.5-611; Michigan was third with 511. Minnesota came out on top in the men's race with 1018.5 points to Alabama's 672.5 and Georgia's 613. Alabama's Stefan Gherghel has the top spot in the nation in the 100 fly (47.22). Stefanie Williams claimed three events to lead the women, and the Georgia men moved from fourth place on the second day of the meet to wind up in third.