Swimming & Diving

Cougars geared up for C-USA run

The Cougars may have lost the majority of their dual meets this season, but that is the last thing on their minds this week.

Today, the four-day Conference USA Championships begin. The Cougars remain in their backyard, as they host the championships at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center Natatorium.

For the Cougars and head coach Mark Taylor, the conference championships are the culmination of a season’s worth of hard work.

“We haven’t gotten the results we’ve wanted this year, but all year we’ve swam to get ready for the conference championships, and to get ready for the NCAAs,” Taylor said. “Our focus is to place as high as we can at the championships.”

During the regular season, the Cougars won three of 10 events: one each against fellow C-USA foes Tulane and Rice, and once against Florida International.

The Cougars defeated Rice and Florida International on Oct. 9, 2009 in the Phill Hansel Duals — the first meet of the season. The Cougars also finished a respectable fourth in the Cougar Classic Fall Invitational in mid-November 2009.

“Our dual meet record is not a huge deal,” Taylor said. “What matters is the conference championships and the NCAAs. That’s how we are judged as a team. What matters is that every time you look at the stop watch, they’ve swam their best.”

Aside from swimming in their own pool, several factors could contribute to the Cougars’ success. UH swam against some of the best squads in the country this season; several of which are ranked in the top 20.

Taylor said swimming against top competition has helped his team’s preparation most.

“We’ve been getting everything perfect for the conference championships all year,” Taylor said. “We’ve prepared with great teams like Texas, Texas A&M, LSU and SMU.”

The Cougars also engaged in rigorous practices throughout the regular season, only resting since the season ended.

“The swimmers have done everything we’ve asked them to,” Taylor said. “I’m so proud of the way the girls have swum (sic). They’ve set themselves up for a great championship.”

“I’ve got the best group of girls that I’ve ever had. We expect to do awesome at the conference championships.”

The C-USA Championships will begin today and extends through Saturday.

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