Pozdniakova wins NCAA title

The swimming and diving team finished in 17th place at the NCAA Championships this past weekend in College Station, marking the Cougars’ highest finish at the event since 1986.

Houston’s brightest stars, senior co-captain Sasha Schwendenwein and junior Anastasia Pozdniakova, made the biggest impact for the Cougars.’

In diving, Pozdniakova won the one-meter event with a score of 351.15, making her the first Cougar to win a diving national title since Yulia Pakhalina won the 1-meter championship in 2003. ‘

Pozdniakova came up just short in the 3-meter event, finishing second with 386.10 points. This marks the second time since 2007 that Pozdniakova was the runner-up in the 3-meter event at the NCAA Championships. Indiana’s Christina Loukas took the title with 437.75 points.

In the consolation finals of platform diving, Pozdniakova took home first with a score of 263.15. The victory makes Pozdniakova the first UH diver to finish in the top 10 of all three events since Linda Pesek in 1991.

Sophomore Courtney Forcucci joined Pozdniakova in all three diving events, finishing 33rd in the 3-meter with a score of 238.10 and 27th in the 1-meter with 256.80 points. She also finished 22nd in the platform diving consolation finals with a score of 216.70.

On the swimming side, Schwendenwein delivered the best performance by a Cougar at an NCAA swimming event final since 1989, finishing 13th in the 200-yard butterfly preliminaries with a time of 1:55.90 and 16th in the finals with a time of 1:57.48. Maija Airas, who finished 12th place in the 50-yard freestyle in 1989, was the last Cougar to accomplish as much as Schwendenwein.’

Schwendenwein set a school record of 4:41.73 in the 500-yard freestyle, good for 21st place. For Schwendenwein, the NCAA Championships were a near-perfect way to cement her legacy at UH.

‘It was the highlight of my college career, and I will never forget the electric atmosphere and honor I felt competing there,’ she said.

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