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Volume 68, Issue 45, Monday, October 28, 2002


Pakhalina finishes in first

Cougar Sports Services

The Cougars finally come back to Houston after swimming through the Midwest cornfields. The UH swimming and diving teams finished competition at the Husker Invitational in Nebraska on Saturday, finishing in fourth behind first-place Nevada, Nebraska and Drury.

But it was a one-two punch for the Cougars in the diving events.

Senior diver Yulia Pakhalina dominated the field again, winning the one- and three-meter springboard events. The Olympic Gold champion earned 620.35 points in the two events. Redshirt freshman diver Azul Almazan, celebrating her 21st birthday, came in second with 490.85 points in the two events.

Pakhalina, the 2002 Conference USA Diver of the Year and defending NCAA Three-Meter Diving National Champion, has won 40 of her last 41 diving competitions. She was the 2002 NCAA One-Meter Diving runner-up. Pakhalina has competed in 19 three-meter collegiate diving competitions, winning all of them.

In the swimming events, freshman Stacey Williams, the defending C-USA Swimmer of the Week, came in second in the 200-yard freestyle in one minute, 55.82 seconds and in the 100-yard butterfly in 58.79. The Australian was only a half-second away from winning the freestyle event.

Junior Lucile Turpin rounded out the top Cougar performers Saturday as she came in third in the 400-yard individual medley with a time of 4:37.06.

On Friday, the team finished fourth in the Husker Sprint Challenge, with Pakhalina and Almazan again leading the charge. The pair finished in first place, scoring 354.81 points in the one-meter springboard.

Sophomore Vicki Blocker came in second in the 50-yard backstroke at 30.33. Williams came in second in the 50-yard butterfly at 26.49 and third in the 100-yard freestyle at 54.10.

Sophomore Kristin Bay was third in the 25-yard freestyle at 11.71; freshman Tatjana Banjeglav was third in the 50-yard freestyle at 25.96; and sophomore Meagan Wien was third in the 100-yard freestyle at 57.31.

The team will host crosstown rival Rice at 4 p.m. Friday and former Southwest Conference rival Arkansas at 1 p.m. Saturday.

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