Amy Van Dyken, who swam her first two collegiate seasons at Arizona, swam the first leg of the relay in the final, propelling the United States team to a world record time of 3 minutes, 36.61 seconds, knocking over a second off the previous record.. Courtney Shealy swam the second leg; Dara Torres, the third; and Jenny Thompson, the fourth.
The Americans broke the world record of 3:37.91 set by the Chinese team at the 1994 World Championships in Rome.
Ashley Tappin, who swam at Arizona from 1993-97, swam on the first leg of the relay in Saturday's preliminaries. While she was not a part of the record-setting final team, she still earned a gold medal because of her performance.
The Netherlands finished second to the Americans in 3:39.82, while Sweden was third in 3:40.30.
Carvin 6th, Neethling 8th in Olympic 400m Freestyle Final
Two former University of Arizona athletes advanced to the finals of the 400-meter freestyle at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, Saturday, but neither finished with a medal.
Chad Carvin (UA Class of 1995) finished sixth in the race, swimming a time of 3 minutes, 47.58 seconds. Meanwhile, Ryk Neethling, who finished his eligibility in March, swam 3:48.52 and placed eighth.
Australian teen sensation Ian Thorpe won the event in 3:40.59, breaking his own world and Olympic records in the process. Italys Massimilano Rosolino finished second in 3:43.40, while Phoenix native Klete Keller was third in 3:47.00.
Italys Emiliano Brembilla placed fourth (3:47.01), Romanias Dragos Coman was fifth (3:47.38) and Australias Grant Hackett was eighth (3:48.22).
Earlier in the day, Arizona junior Maria Papadopoulou finished 32nd in the prelims of the 100-meter butterfly. Swimming for her native Cyprus, she clocked at time of 1:01.64, but only the top 16 (59.94) advanced to the semifinals.