Houston Hosts First Day of Conference-USA Championship

HOUSTON, Texas, February 14. THE University of Houston swimming team started the first day of the 2007 Conference USA Women's Swimming and Diving with a pair of third-place relay finishes at the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center Natatorium.

The Cougars' 200-yard medley relay team of Jessica Shamburger, Szintia Szanto, Doreen Polotzek and Sasha Schwendenwein finished third with a in the unofficial results with a clocking of 1:44.57. Their time was the second fastest in UH history.

The team of Schwendenwein, Nicole Vaiana, Andrea Pa'lmai and Szanto earned a similar finish in the 800-yard freestyle relay with a time of 7:29.66, the fifth-fastest time in UH history.

However, the results remain unofficial due to the difficulties of Marshall's team travel. The Thundering Herd was stranded at the airport in Columbus, Ohio, for a day due to heavy snow in the area. The team did not land in Houston until around 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, only 90 minutes before the official start of the meet.

As a result, the C-USA coaches agreed to allow Marshall to swim as a team in the 200-yard medley relay after the preliminaries during one of the next few days. Marshall's time will then be added to the unofficial results and the results scored accordingly.

The meet resumes at 10 a.m., Thursday with the preliminaries of the 500-yard freestyle, 200-yard individual medley and the 50-yard freestyle. The women's 3-meter diving preliminaries will begin around 1 p.m. The finals for those events are slated to begin around 6 p.m.

In addition to the host Cougars, the meet features both the men's and women's teams from SMU and East Carolina and the women's teams from Rice, East Carolina and Marshall. Hawai'i also will be competing on the men's side.

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