Cougars excel at conference meet
The swimming and diving team enjoyed a record-smashing weekend, finishing second at the 2009 Conference USA Championships.
UH broke 14 school swimming records, including all five relay records.
‘Our team was outstanding, our swimmers never swam so well and the divers were perfect as usual,’ head coach Mark Taylor said.
UH accumulated 623 points to finish with the silver medal, their best showing at the C-USA Championships.
Taylor earned his first C-USA Championship Swimming Coach of the Meet Award and head diving coach Jane Figueiredo earned her eighth consecutive Diving Coach of the Year Award. Taylor was quick to share the praises with his staff.
‘(Assistant coach) Jaime Lewis is one of the most incredible swimming coaches I’ve ever been able to work with,’ Taylor said. ‘She kept me and the girls focused on our task. I wouldn’t have won coach of the year if it wasn’t for her.’
Anastasia Pozdniakova finished first in platform diving with a final score of 277.55 and became the first diver to win all three diving events since 2006. Pozdniakova’s impressive performance earned her the second Diver of the Meet Award of her career.
Sasha Schwendenwein was up to her usual self, breaking the C-USA record in 200-yard butterfly and was named Championship Swimmer of the Meet.
‘Winning the award was the perfect way to finish my UH career,’ she said. ‘I still can’t believe it. I feel really honored and lucky to have been apart of this team and help captain it to such a great finish.’
Taylor is not only proud of his team’s accomplishments in the pool, but also outside of it, with 20 of 23 team members having a GPA above 3.0. Nine of these swimmers made the dean’s list for fall 2008.
The time for celebration will be short because the divers will head to the NCAA Zone Diving Meet on March 13-15 in Columbia, Mo., to compete for berths in the NCAA championships.
Swimmers Schwendenwein, Kim Eeson, Beccy Hillis and Jessica Shamburger all put up NCAA qualifying times and are awaiting confirmation from the selection committee.