College Station, Tex. - University of Houston freshman Yulia Pakhalina coasted to the three-meter springboard diving championship at the NCAA Zone qualifying meet Friday afternoon in College Station, Texas. As expected, the former world champion and 2000 Olympic Gold medalist has qualified for the NCAA Championships in the event which will be held next week in Long Island, NY.
Pakhalina didn't just qualify, she stormed the field to win the three-meter competition with an 11-dive score of 629.40 points. The score was a full 123 points ahead of runner-up Meghan Zack, an NCAA qualifier from Texas A&M. Pakhalina is a native of Penza, Russia, who won a gold medal in synchronized diving at the Sydney Olympics. She also is a former world champion on the three-meter springboard.
Along with fellow Cougar freshman Veronica Smith, Pakhalina will next compete for one of the spots in the NCAA Championships in the one-meter springboard event Saturday afternoon at the Student Recreation Center & Natatorium on the Texas A&M campus. Smith, a freshman from nearby Cy Fair, placed 20th in the three-meter competition Friday.
Automatic NCAA Qulaifiers 1. 629.40 Yulia Pakhalina Houston 2. 505.55 Meghan Zack Texas A & M 3. 484.90 Kristen Marquis Texas Other Houston scores... 20. 364.85 Veronica Smith Houston
For a full scoring summary of Friday's three-meter springboard results,
link to the world-wide web here...