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    Sept. 6, 2000

    Chicago, Ill. -University of Illinois Chicago Athletic Director Jim Schmidt has named Ina Harizanova Interim Head Swimming and Diving Coach for the UIC men's and women's programs it was announced today. Harizanova accepted the position following a one-year stint as the program's assistant under four-year Head Coach John Christie, who passed away over the summer following a bout with cancer.

    A 1994 graduate of the National Sports Academy in Sofia, Bulgaria, Harizanova established herself as a world-class athlete for her native Bulgaria between the years 1988-1995, capturing seven national modern pentathlon championship titles. Harizanova placed first in the world at the 1994 Modern Pentathlon World Cup while finishing third in 1993. In addition to her success in the pentathlon, she also captured the 1994 Bulgarian Women's Epee title in fencing.

    Harizanova joined the Flames athletic staff after beginning her United States coaching career as a DePaul University assistant rifle coach in 1997. She helped lead the Blue Demons to a first and second place Midwest Sectional finish.

    Harizanova's coaching staff will include 10th year diving coach Larry Barcheski, first-year assistant Eric Holton and student-assistant Luis Bracamonte. Both Holton and Bracamonte, who owns the school record in the 200 butterfly, finished their swimming careers for the Flames last season.

    "With the return of several standout swimmers, we should have a great year," said Holton. "I am excited with our staff and how well we work together. The chemistry with all of us is very good."

    "Our staff has been together for some time now," said Harizanova. "We had a good coach-athlete relationship which has now evolved into a strong coach-coach relationship."

    The Flames begin the 2000-2001 season on October 14 against local rival Northern Illinois at 11:30 a.m. in the UIC Physical Education Building.