SEDONA, AZ – Natalie Coughlin, a 15-year-old sophomore at Carondelet High School of Concord, CA, sent high school swimming to new levels with record-breaking performances in the 200 yard individual medley and 100 yard backstroke.
At the CIF/North Coast Section Championships in Novato last May, Coughlin became the fastest high school swimmer ever in the 200 IM with a 1:58.84 — 7-hundredths faster than the 1994 record of Olympic silver medalist, Allison Wagner.
In the 100 back, Coughlin became the first high school swimmer to break the 53-second barrier, breaking world champion Misty Hyman’s 53.68 standard from 1996. Her 52.86 came within 15-hundredths of the American record.
When told she was the first sophomore to receive Swimming World’s annual award, Coughlin said she would also like to become the first person to win the award 3 years in a row.