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    Feb. 15, 2012

    HOUSTON- The University of Houston will play host to the 2012 Conference USA Swimming & Diving Championship inside the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center Natatorium, Feb. 15-18. The Cougars will face East Carolina, Marshall, Rice, SMU and Tulane in the championship meet.

    2012 C-USA Schedule
    Feb. 15
    Diving Preliminaries - 3 pm
    1-Meter Diving (Men)

    Finals - 6 pm
    200-Yard Medley Relay
    1-Meter Diving (Men)
    800-Yard Freestyle Relay

    Feb. 16
    Preliminaries - 10 am
    500-Yard Freestyle
    200-Yard Individual Medley
    50-Yard Freestyle
    Diving Preliminaries - 1 pm
    3-Meter (women)

    Finals - 6 pm
    500-Yard Freestyle
    200-Yard Individual Medley
    50-Yard Freestyle
    3-Meter Diving (Women)
    400-Yard Medley Relay

    Feb. 17
    Preliminaries - 10 am
    400-Yard Individual Medley
    100-Yard Butterfly
    200-Yard Freestyle
    100-Yard Breaststroke
    100-Yard Backstroke
    Diving Preliminaries - 1 pm
    3-Meter (Men)
    1-Meter (Women)

    Finals - 6 pm
    200-Yard Freestyle Relay
    1-Meter Diving (Women)
    400-Yard Individual Medley
    100-Yard Butterfly
    3-Meter Diving (Men)
    200-Yard Freestyle
    100-Yard Breaststroke
    100-Yard Backstroke

    As the host school for the ninth-straight year, Houston is a familiar setting for the conference meet. Head diving coach Jane Figueiredohas regularly dominated the meet with her divers performances over the years.

    "This time of year is very exciting for us," said Figueiredo. "We have a lot of tradition and we expect to carry on that tradition. With Natasha and Julia, I expect us to go one-two in the events. We play to win and we're going to go all out. I want them to get out there and compete hard."

    But for first-year head coach Augie Busch, this is what the first season has been building towards.

    "There's certainly no manual how to run your first year as a head coach," said Busch. "But the girls have done everything I have asked them to do over this year and we're at a great place. I am very grateful for being in this situation with having people trust me. I can't wait to experience this weekend."

    Last year, Houston finished in fourth place while crosstown-rival Rice won the championship.

    Houston will look to challenge the top squads and figure to get a large part of their points on the diving boards. The diving duo of Natasha Burgess and Julia Lonnegrenrank one and two in both the 1M and 3M diving events and have already secured NCAA qualifying marks. Burgess ranks No. 1 in the 1M while the junior Lonnegren has the edge over Burgess in the 3M event.

    Between the two, they have won seven out of the 10 C-USA Diver of the Week awards with Lonnegren claiming five and the freshman Burgess winning two.

    In the freestyle events, the Cougars will look to senior Kim Eeson who holds top three top-four times in conference this year (50, 100, 200 free). Junior Moira Fraseralso places among the top lists in the 50 and 100 free events.

    The distance free has been strength of Houston this year and both the 500 and 1,650 have four Cougars among C-USA's top twenty in each event.

    "Everyone looks at the top of their game right now, this is what we've been getting ready for all year and everyone has responded. I think I'm going to be pleasantly surprised with our results."

    The meet opens Wednesday 6 p.m. with the 200-yard medley relay followed by the 800-free relay. The meet's format is set up with preliminaries running at 10 a.m. Thursday through Saturday with the finals of the morning's races starting at 6 p.m.


     

     

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