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NCAA Div. I Women: Coughlin, Becks Lead Cal Over ASU -- January 26, 2002

BERKELEY, CA., Jan. 25. WHOEVER thought up the
"sophomore jinx" never met Cal's Natalie Coughlin.

The Golden Bear second-year superstar, last season's NCAA Division 1 Swimmer of the Year for her wins and American/NCAA records in both backstrokes and her collegiate standard in the 100 fly, has come back even stronger this season after a win in the World Championship 100 back last summer at Fukuoka. (She also led off the United States' 400 medley relay there in history's second-fastest time ever.)

Already the national leader for 2001-'02 in the 50-100-200 frees plus the backstrokes and 100 fly, Coughlin won three races here today -- as did teammate Danielle Becks -- to lead the sixth-ranked Bears to an easy 173-125 win over seventh-ranked Pac-10 foe Arizona State.

Cal is now 4-1 for the season while ASU loses its first dual meet.

Becks' three impresive victories came in the 50 (23.34), 100 (50.51) and 200 (1:49.68) frees -- all seasonal prs.

Coughlin scored her wins in the 100 back (55.04), 200 IM (1:57.54) and 100 fly (53.43). Her clocking in the medley is her career-best and ranks her third nationally. Coughlin's old pr was a 1:58.13 from last year's Pac-10s. (However, if she were to swim this race at NCAAs, the current American-collegiate record of 1:55.49 by Auburn's Maggie Bowen from last year's meet might well not last long.)

Bowen's the national-leader with her 1:57.51 from earlier in the season and Stanford's Shelly Ripple is No. 2 (1:57.52).

Cal was also paced by junior Ashley Whitney, who splashed to firsts in the 1000 (9:58.66) and 500 frees (4:53.57). Other Cal winners were were junior Staciana Stitts in the 100 breast (1:01.51) and senior Alice Henriques in the 200 back (pr 1:57.91).

Cal wrapped up its afternoon's work by winning the 200 medley relay (1:41.51, Coughlin, Stitts, Henriques, junior Michelle Harper). Their seasonal pr is a 1:40.04 from the Longhorn Invitational in Austin last month that ranks Da Bears No. 2 nationally to Arizona's 1:39.97 from the same race.

Arizona State was led by diver Natalie Burgess, who placed first in both the one-meter (251.11) and three-meter competition (291.60). Sarah Baham won the 200 fly (2:00.59) and Hungarian Olympic-World 200 breast champ Agnes Kovacs won her specialty (2:12.12).

A froshwoman for Coach Mike Chasson's Sun Devils, Kovacs is nationalleader in the 200 breast with her 2:07.98, also from Texas. That time ranks her second on the all-time performers-performances list to Georgia's Kristy Kowal's NCAA-winning 2:07.66 from the '99 Championships at (where else?) her home pool in Athens.

Look for Kovacs to go a 2:06+ at Pac-10s and then at NCAAs in Austin the third weekend of March -- quite likely the fastest pool in the country -- even faster.

The Bears will next host No. 3 ranked Arizona, tomorrow, Jan. 26, beginning at 12 p.m. at Spieker Aquatics Complex. Coach Frank Bush's UA Wildcats
were thrashed by No. 1-ranked Stanford, 182-118, this afternoon at Avery Aquatics Complex on the Cardinal campus.

-- Bill Bell

WOMEN'S NCAA DIVISION 1 SWIMMING AND DIVING DUAL MEET
Cal vs. Arizona State
Spieker Aquatics Complex
Berkeley, CA.
Jan. 25, 2002/25 Yd. Pool

Final Score: Cal 173, Arizona State 115.

200 Medley Relay
1. Cal A
(Natalie Coughlin, Staciana Stitts, Alice Henriques, Michelle Harper)
1:41.51
2. ASU A
(Shald, Kovacs, Baham, Hendenskog) 1:43.24
3. Cal B
(Yokouchi, Miller, Griffith, Pallson) 1:47.34


1,000 Freestyle
1. Ashley Whitney Cal 9:58.66
2. Stanford ASU 10:01.30
3. Morelli Cal 10:04.26
4. Townsend ASU 10:07.78
5. Titcomb ASU 10:26.55


200 Freestyle
1. Danielle Becks Cal 1:49.68
2. Medina Cal 1:51.27
3. Szigeti ASU 1:51.29
4. Burden Cal 1:53.03
5. Stanford ASU 1:53.89


100 Back
1. Natalie Coughlin Cal 55.04
2. Henriques Cal 55.91
3. Shald ASU 57.67
4. Hastings Cal 57.78
5. Ng Cal 57.98


100 Breaststroke
1. Staciana Stitts Cal 1:01.51
2. Kovacs ASU 1:02.65
3. Mants ASU 1:04.67
4. Miller Cal 1:05.11
5. Calder Cal 1:05.60


200 Butterfly
1. Sarah Baham ASU 2:00.59
2. Sissener Cal 2:02.31
3. Morelli Cal 2:03.18
4. Griffith Cal 2:04.87
5. Mauro ASU 2:07.57


50 Freestyle
1. Danielle Becks Cal 23.34
2. Harper Cal 23.87
3. Hedenskog ASU 24.02
4. Szigeti ASU 24.26
5. Palsson Cal 24.60


Three-Meter Diving
1. Natalie Burgess ASU 291.60
2. Flynn Cal 262.88
3. Stenson ASU 237.825
4. Urioste Cal 214.875
5. Borawski Cal 207.375


100 Freestyle
1. Danielle Becks Cal 50.51
2. Szigeti ASU 51.87
3. Harper Cal 52.11
4. Hedenskog ASU 52.57
5. Palsson Cal 53.20


200 Backstroke
1. Alice Henriques Cal 1:57.91
2. Yokouchi Cal 2:01.41
3. Ng Cal 2:03.44
4. Wilcox ASU 2:07.00
5. Shald ASU 2:08.20


200 Breaststroke
1. Agnes Kovacs ASU 2:12.12
2. Stitts Cal 2:12.45
3. Mants ASU 2:17.24
4. Monroe Cal 2:20.39
5. Griffith Cal 2:20.40


500 Freestyle
1. Ashley Whitney Cal 4:53.57
2. Stanford ASU 4:58.43
3. Townsend ASU 4:59.08
4. Medina Cal 5:02.39
5. Titcomb ASU 5:05.66


100 Butterfly
1. Natalie Coughlin Cal 53.43
2. Baham ASU 55.23
3. Mauro ASU 56.97
4. Henriques Cal 57.07
5. Galbavy Cal 57.80


One-Meter Diving
1. Natalie Burgess ASU 251.11
2. Stenson ASU 243.225
3. Flynn Cal 216.375
4. Borawski Cal 214.425
5. Urioste Cal 212.55


200 Individual Medley
1. Natalie Coughlin Cal 1:57.54
2. Kovacs ASU 2:03.56
3. Yokouchi Cal 2:03.94
4. Ng Cal 2:06.44
5. Griffith Cal 2:07.74


200 Freestyle Relay
1. ASU A (Florencia Szigeti, Florence Mauro, Sarah Baham, Claire
Hedenskog) 1:36.00
2. ASU B (Mants, Stanford, Lowe, Townsend) 1:40.72