Nov. 14, 2012
HOUSTON - This past weekend signified Homecoming at the University of Houston and the start of a new tradition for the swimming and diving program. For the first time ever, the Cougars welcomed back some of their own to take part in the Houston Swimming and Diving Alumni Meet on Saturday.
Reconnecting with the past to build for the future has been a priority for head coach Augie Busch.
"Coaching under my dad (current USA Swimming National Team Director Frank Busch) for so long, I was very fortunate to have been shown a successful model for building a program. Without a doubt, a key ingredient in doing so is connecting with the past, which is what this weekend was all about."
"I'd like to thank everyone who came and two people in particular for all their hard work in organizing this - Helena Finley and Kristine Kelly. Also thanks go out to Mike Turner, Yolanda Hernandez, Patty Clark, Hanneke Faber and Aris Economon."
Faber and Economon made a generous donation to provide the team with a new record board.
Findley was an All-American in the 200 breast in 1986 and Kelly competed for the Cougars in the Conference USA finals in the mile freestyle from 2006-08.
Other Cougar swimmer and divers that returned include Julia Carleton, Edelweiss Rothe, Sherri Phegley, Tine Haffner, Francis Fortanet, Maija Airas and Tiitta Elias
"We had a great turnout not only for our alumni swim meet but for the other activities that filled the weekend. It was so awesome watching our current team members show their appreciation for those who came before them and it gave Clif (Robbins), Jane (Figueiredo) and I a chance to spend time with people who represented a different era in this team's great history."
In addition to the racing on Saturday, there was a social outing Friday night, and following the swim meet the group participated in a tailgate before watching the football game on Saturday night.
A small donation to the swimming and diving program that will be directed towards revamping the team locker room came with a gift suite that included complimentary tickets to the football game, a swim cap sponsored by Texas Sports Publications and a UH swimming and diving alumni polo.
"Now that we've started this tradition, we expect numbers to increase every year."