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Volume 70, Issue 99, Thursday, February 24, 2005


Four Coogs named to All-Decade team

Cougar Sports Services

Conference USA announced Tuesday its selection of the Swimming and Diving All-Decade Team, for which four Cougars were selected; former UH diver and Olympian Yulia Pakhalina was named the Athlete of the Decade.

Current Cougar divers Anna Kiess and Azul Almazan were also named on the all decade team, along with UH head diving coach Jane Figueiredo as the C-USA Women's Swimming and Diving Coach of the Decade. 

Pakhalina dove for UH from 2001-03, when she established herself as one of the foremost athletes in the history of Cougar athletics. She was a five-time NCAA champion and a two-time NCAA Diver of the Year. In the 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympics, Pakhalina won a combined three medals.

Figueiredo, considered one of the wold's best diving coaches, is a two-time NCAA Diving Coach of the Year. A former Cougar diver from 1962-86, Figueiredo has coached three divers to nine All-America honors.

In two strong years, the junior co-captain Almazan was named Diver of the Meet at last year's C-USA championships and also received Diver of the Year honors. In 2003, she was named Freshman Diver of the Year.

Sophomore Kiess was last year's Freshman Diver of the Year, winning the 2004 platform and 1-meter springboard championship. She was also named a 2004 All American for her performances on the platform and the 3-meter springboard. 

Cougar fans will have one more opportunity to catch Figueiredo, Almazan and Kiess in action this season at the C-USA championships, which will be held at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center Natatorium. The diving competitions will be held at 1 p.m. today and will run through Saturday.

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