Cougars Ready for NCAA Zone Diving
March 6, 2012
The divers will start with the 1M event on Thursday, the 3M on Friday followed by the platform competition on Saturday. Per NCAA Zone Diving rules, once a diver qualifies in one event, she will automatically advance to the NCAA Championships on all three boards.
Both Lonnegren and Burgess have qualified for the Zone Championships in all three events as the duo have dominated their competition all year long culminating at the Conference USA Championships. At the C-USA meet, the diving tandem took the top two places in all three events.
The junior Lonnegren edged the freshman Burgess in all three events to claim the Diver of the Meet Award. Head diving coach Jane Figueiredo was named the Diving Coach of the Year for 11th straight year.
"We have prepared the best way we know how so we should be ready to go," said Figueiredo. "I expect them to compete well and be consistent. We always expect them to do well because that's our expectation level with us at UH. I'm excited for the weekend and representing UH and our tradition."
Lonnegren became only the fourth diver in conference history to sweep all three titles at the conference meet. The other three student-athletes who accomplished that feat (Anastasia Pozdniakova 2009, Tania Cagnotto 2006 and Yulia Pakhalina 2002), were all fellow Houston divers.
For Lonnegren, this will mark her second trip the Zone Diving competition as she punched her ticket to the NCAA Championships last year on the final day with a third place finish in the platform event. Lonnegren placed 28th in the 1M, 29th in the 3M and 24th in the platform at the NCAA Championships.
During the regular season, they claimed the top two places five other times and providing stiff competition for one another in meets and practice.
"We've gone against some great schools teams this year including Texas, Texas A&M, SMU and LSU, and then we'll also get to face some new quality opponents such as Minnesota Iowa and Missouri, its going to be a tough meet but we're excited for the competition."
The $69 million state-of-the-art Campus Recreation and Wellness Center opened in the summer of 2010. The facility has 20,000 feet of fitness space over three levels, a 52 1/2 foot climbing wall and a leisure pool among other amenities.
Iowa hosted the 2012 Big Ten Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Championships in February. The CRWC hosted the 2011 USA Diving Winter Nationals last year.