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September, 2005 Vol. 30 No. 3
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Golf on upswing Sept. 2004

International athletes May 2004

Swimming siblings Nov. 2003

Olympic softballer Nov. 2003

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Other student standouts

Radiologic students top in nation May 2005

Army ROTC competesJan. 2005

Kabuki grandkids Sept. 2004

PhD candidate is Cherry Blossom queen Sept. 2004

Anthropology student studies medicinal flora in Tanzania Sept. 2004>

Zoology student studies Kaʻena Point albatross May 2004

Published September 2005

Huang is Diving to Win

QiongJie Huang ready to dive, arms raised
by Heidi Sakuma

QiongJie Huang’s gymnastic coach was right. Seventeen years ago, he told the then 7-year-old Wenzhou, China, native that she wouldn’t go far in gymnastics. He suggested she try diving instead.

In spring 2005, Huang, then a junior at Mānoa, captured the 1-meter springboard NCAA championship at Purdue University’s Boilermaker Aquatic Center. Huang’s 327.00-point total broke a pool record.

"It’s always nervous when you compete," the four-time All-American says. "But if you don’t compete for a while, actually you miss the feeling of standing on the board."

In competition, Huang combines years of training and natural ability with an intensity that can be intimidating. "People said if they didn’t know me, they wouldn’t talk to me because my face was very scary," she laughs.

QiongJie Huang holding her UH diploma

Diving coaches Mike Brown and Anita Rossing are impressed with Huang’s focus and diving intuition. "She knows a great deal about her own diving," says Brown. "Not all divers are as tuned into their own diving as she is. She’ll do the dive and she’ll know what correction needs to be made without much comment. When you coach a Buddhist, it’s best to do nothing."

Although the 2008 Olympics will be in Beijing, Huang does expect to compete. "I don’t have a chance to represent the Chinese team because they have such a strong team," she says. "They already have the people they want."

The years she spent outside the Chinese system—Huang has been at Mānoa since completing one year at University of Electronic Science and Technology in Zhejiang province—make it hard for her to get a spot on the team. "I just want to go and be a part of it with my country," she says.

She may be philosophical, but Brown and Rossing are hopeful. Huang is ready for the highest level of international competition, they say.

"You never know," Rossing speculates, "if she goes back and does well in their competitions, or gets back into their system?"

Either way, Huang is happy with her status. "I like diving right now," she says. "It’s something that’s part of your life, you get on the board and it makes you feel better."

Heidi Sakuma (BA, BA ’04 Mānoa) is an External Affairs and University Relations student writer and Mānoa graduate student in English

Other 2004–05 Student Standouts


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