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Feb. 23, 2002

South Carolina’s men’s and women’s swimming teams proceeded in the final morning of preliminary competition before finals this evening at the SEC Championships. Carolina qualified three swimmers in the finals and four in the consolation finals. Entering tonight, the No. 14 USC men’s squad is in fifth place with 266 points, while the USC women’s squad is in the sixth spot with 234.5 points. A fifth place finish for the men’s squad would be the best conference finish for the Gamecocks since Carolina’s first season in the SEC when USC finished fifth in 1992. A sixth place finish for the Lady Gamecocks would also be the best conference finish for the Lady Gamecocks since Carolina’s first season in the SEC, when USC finished sixth in 1992.

Zsolt Gaspar will go for his third SEC title tonight, after qualifying with the top time in the 100 freestyle this afternoon with a time of 43.44. Gaspar’s time set a new South Carolina record, besting the previous record set by Gaspar in 2001 with a time of 43.63 Gaspar’s time was also an NCAA “A” Qualifying Standard. Gaspar is this year’s SEC champion in the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly, winning both events over the past two evenings.

Also making it in the finals for the men’s squad was sophomore Chris McCrary, who posted the eighth fastest time in the 200 butterfly. McCrary finished with a time of 1:47.95, his fastest time this year. McCrary’s personal best he set last year with a time of 1:47.85. Qualifying in the finals for the Lady Gamecocks was junior Kristen Butler in the 200 backstroke with a season best time of 2:02.03. Butler competed and placed 14th last night in the 100 backstroke.

Freshman Capi Adams will compete in the consolation final in the 200 breaststroke. Adams finished the prelims at 2:20.71 and will look to win her second straight consolation final, after winning the consolation in the 400 IM last night.

The Lady Gamecocks will also have sophomore Jenn VanAssen and freshman Heather Skaggs competing in the 100 freestyle consolation. VanAssen finished with a personal best of 50.71, the third fastest time in Carolina history. Skaggs placed 15th in the prelims with a time of 51.07.

Also setting season best times for the Gamecocks in prelims but not competing tonight was: Diana Marino (200 back, 2:23.49), Sarah Massey (100 free, 53.56), Katie Camp (100 free, 58.65), Amy Vinson (100 free, 52.72), Carolynn McHugh (100 free, 51.84), Conor Leehaug (100 free, 46.15), Josh Parkin (100 free, 46.90), Javier Botello (100 free, 45.45), Ed Murphy (100 free, 45.51), Priscilla Humberstone (200 breast, 2:21.08), Christina Hong (200 breast, 2:24.76) and Phillip Horton (200 breast, 2:02.65).

Tonight’s competition will begin at 4 p.m. with the 1650 freestyle. USC will have sophomore Istvan Bathazi and junior Cory Conway on the men’s side, and All-American Sarah Doyle on the women’s side. The meet concludes with the 400 freestyle relay. USC enters the relay with the fourth best time in the SEC on the men’s side (2:59.26) and the sixth best time on the women’s side (3:26.36).

SATURDAY RESULTS (top eight qualify for finals, 9-16 qualify for consolation finals)

Preliminary Competition Women’s 200 Backstroke
8. Kristen Butler, Jr., 2:02.03
25. Diana Marino, Fr., 2:23.49 ,br> Preliminary Competition Men’s 200 Backstroke
16. Lir Derieg, So., 1:51.31
Preliminary Competition Women’s 100 Freestyle
12. Jenn VanAssen, So, 50.71
15. Heather Skaggs, Fr., 51.07
19. Carolynn McHugh, Fr., 51.84
31. Amy Vinson, So., 52.72
37. Sarah Massey, Sr., 53.56
44. Katie Camp, Fr., 58.65
Preliminary Competition Men’s 100 Freestyle
1. Zsolt Gaspar, Sr., 43.44
21. Tamas Szucs, So., 45.44
22. Javier Botello, Sr., 45.45
23. Ed Murphy, So., 45.51
32. Conor Leehaug, So., 46.15
38. Josh Parkin, Fr., 46.90
Preliminary Competition Women’s 200 Breaststroke
14. Capi Adams, Fr., 2:20.71
17. Priscilla Humberstone, So, 2:21.08
23. Christina Hong, So., 2:24.76
Preliminary Competition Women’s 200 Butterfly
18. Bronwyn Dedekind, So., 2:04.88
24. Anna Nyiry, So., 2:08.31
25. Meg Johnson, So., 2:08.59
26. Lauren Wade, Jr., 2:09.69
Preliminary Competition Men’s 200 Butterfly
8. Chris McCrary, So., 1:47.95
20. Phillip Horton, Fr., 2:02.65