Pakhalina captures NCAA
By Stuart H. Clements
Daily Cougar Staff
Sophomore diver Yulia Pakhalina is slipping
— this year she won only one NCAA national championship, instead of two.
Pin Lim/The Daily Cougar
Sophomore diver Yulia Pakhalina
won the third NCAA championship of her collegiate career Friday night.
Pakhalina scored 625.05 points to dominate
the 2002 NCAA Championship in the 3-meter springboard competition, making
her the fourth
competitor in the last 20 years to win
back-to-back NCAA titles.
Last year, the Penza, Russia, native won
the 1-meter and 3-meter events at the NCAA tournament. Pakhalina saw her
36-event winning streak
snapped on Thursday by Blythe Hartley,
who defeated Pakhalina in the 1-meter competition.
Hartley, a native of Vancouver, British
Columbia, is a freshman diver for Southern California, and dominated the
2001 World Championships in
the 1-meter event.
Pakhalina roared back into action Friday
to pick up her second national title in the 3-meter competition, setting
new NCAA and NCAA
championship meet records in the process.
Pakhalina's score exceeded that of former
UH volunteer assistant coach Vera Ilynia, who scored 612.60 to set the
record in 1998.
Ilynia and Pakhalina also won a gold medal
for Russia in the 2000 Summer Olympics for their performance in the 3-meter
After all competitors had completed the
required dives Friday, Pakhalina was in second place, trailing Hartley
by less than a quarter of a point
and holding a slim 12-point lead on Indiana's
Pakhalina held on through the optional
dives to soar ahead of Hartley, who dropped to third in the final standings,
far behind both Reiling and