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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Swimming & Diving

Diving in head first

Earning her second-straight Conference USA Diver of the Week award, junior Julia Lonnegren is building an impressive resume at UH.

Born in the cold of Lund, Sweden and diving in the heat of Houston, Lonnegren has been named the C-USA’s top diver five times this season. Lonnegren dove for first place in both  the one-meter (299.8) and platform dives (252.15) in UH’s Jan. 28 meet against LSU, Rice and Tulane, and placed second in the three-meter (312.6).

She has also prevailed to be the eighth Cougar diver in the past nine years to be awarded C-USA Freshman Diver of the Year.

Before upcoming meets, Lonnegren tries to get the most out of practice to help mentally prepare her.

“I trust my body when I’m in the water and try to stay focused, I try and stay calm and relax,” she said.

Lonnegren has big goals and the head diving coach, Jane Figueiredo, is also a big help in getting Lonnegren going.

“I want to be an All-American (diver). That would be my ultimate achievement,” Lonnegren said.

“Every day she comes with a ton of indescribable energy.”

Figueiredo was among reasons why Lonnegren came to the US and why she chose UH.

Raised on her family’s farm in Furulund, Sweden, Lonnegren likes the example she is setting for her four younger sisters.

“I try to do the best I can as a student athlete,” she said. “I try to focus and eat healthy, especially when a meet is coming up.”

Lonnegren uses her awards and accomplishments from the past 12 years of diving as the momentum for her bright future ahead.

She is undecided on her focus within the Bauer College of Business, but she is leaning towards a declaration in finance and plans to start her own business after graduation, possibly within the health industry.

Growing up, Lonnegren didn’t just dive, she was also a gymnast — which aided in her diving talent and techniques. She also competed in sailing and horseback riding prior to her college career, and somewhere along the way learned how to juggle coconuts.

Despite her successful college career, Lonnegren still tries to stay humble.

“I’m not a complete talent, I like to … work and listen to my coaches,” she said.

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