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Volume 68, Issue 152, Monday, June 30, 2003


Taylor marks down his 'Perfect 10'

Cougar Sports Services

UH head swimming coach Mark Taylor didn't want to, but, alas, they were already out of his hands. He could never embrace five-time NCAA champ Yulia Pakhalina, at least as a diver for his swimming program, again. The same could be said for Falon Hopkins, the team's best freestyle sprinter for the last four years and Jessica Blake, the squad's strongest competitor in the backstroke. All three, plus diver Veronica Smith, completed their eligibility following the 2002-03 season.

So Taylor went out and signed a group of 10 girls that would be "Taylor-made" to his vision of the UH swimming and diving program.

UH head swimming coach Mark Taylor has ten new names and faces to point toward success. He inked ten new student-athletes for the upcoming season.
Pin Lim/The Daily Cougar

Call 'em the "Perfect 10."

Taylor inked eight student-athletes, while diving head coach Jane Figueiredo signed a pair of divers. The 10 newcomers -- all freshmen -- will begin competition during the 2003-04 season.

"Because we were very small (in numbers) a year ago, we were looking to add depth to the program," Taylor said. "Where is there better to look than in your own backyard where there are so many great swim clubs?"

"This has to be the largest freshman class in decades," he said. "We're not concerned (about the group's youth). We're optimistic about its potential and looking forward to the upperclassmen helping the younger student-athletes adjust to the collegiate level."

The Cougars went 3-8 in dual meets this season and finished fourth in the postseason conference tournament. 

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