Feb. 22, 2002
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – USC ALL-AMERICAN SWIMMER ZSOLT GASPAR WINS SECOND CONSECUTIVE SEC TITLE Gaspar wins an SEC Championship in 100 butterfly with a time of 46.60
For the second consecutive night, senior Zsolt Gaspar won an individual SEC title, this time taking home first place for the Gamecocks in the 100 butterfly on Friday evening of the SEC Swimming & Diving Champioships. Entering into the final event of the evening (400 medley relay) the No. 14 USC men’s squad is fifth with 266 points, while the Lady Gamecocks hold sixth place with a score of 234.5.
“I felt we started off the night very well and raced well in our first few events,” said head swimming coach Don Gibb. “We didn’t end the night as well as I would have liked. I think we need to be more aggressive when we race. Tonight will get a good night’s sleep and come out hopefully more sharp for tomorrow.” Gaspar finished with a time of 46.60 (NCAA “A” qualifying standard), .02 off the school record he set in 2000, and just .20 off the SEC record. Gaspar also won the 100 butterfly at the SEC Championships as a sophomore. Gaspar last night won the 50 freestyle for the second straight year. The native of Hungary is now a two-time champion in the SEC in both 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly. Gaspar joins Maggie Bowen, and Kevin Clements of Auburn as one of only three athletes to win two events at this year’s SEC Championships.
The Gamecock’s No. 14 men’s squad also had several swimmers earn points for USC in the evening swim. Sophomore Istvan Bathazi finished in fourth place overall in the 400 individual medley. Bathazi’s time was 3:48.16, his best of the season. Bathazi’s previous best was 3:48.85 vs. Georgia on Feb. 1.
Also earning a fourth place finish, was sophomore Tamas Szcus in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:37.22. The finish for Szucs was his best on the season, with his previous coming also in the Georiga meet. Szucs won the 200 freestyle last year at the SEC Championships.
In consolation for the men’s squad, senior Javier Botello led the 200 freestyle consolation final for the first six laps before being overtaken and settling for 12th place overall. Botello finished with a time of 1:38.88.
For the Lady Gamecocks, sophomore Anna Nyiry reached the finals for USC in the 100 butterfly and placed seventh overall after a time of 54.95. Nyiry also earned seventh place for the Gamecocks last night in the 50 freestyle.
USC also placed seventh in the 400 medley relay with a time of 3:47.83. Swimming the best time of the season for the Gamecocks was Kristen Butler, Capi Adams, Anna Nyiry and Carolynn McHugh.
Freshman Capi Adams won the 400 IM consolation final, placing ninth overall and finished with her best performance of the season in the 400 individual medley with a time of 4:20.25. Adams time is the second best in Carolina history, just behind Tricia Rye’s time of 4:18.26 set last year.
Also winning her consolation final was sophomore Jenn VanAssen in the 200 freestyle. VanAssen finished with a time of 1:49.14 to place ninth overall. VanAssen’s time was a season best.
Freshman Heather Skaggs placed 11th overall in the 100 butterfly with a time of 55.48. Skaggs’ time was her personal best on the season. Also earning points for USC was senior Sarah Massey, placing 16th with a time of 56.28.
Junior Kristen Butler continued her success and scored points for USC in the 100 backstroke. Butler placed 14th overall with a time of 57.29. Butler set a season best earlier in the preliminary heats with a time of 57.29.
Sophomore Priscilla Humberstone also added points for the Lady Gamecocks in the 100 breaststroke. Humberstone placed 16th in the 100 breast with a season best time of 1:05.47. South Carolina will compete in the final day of SEC Championships, Saturday with prelims beginning at 10:30 CT and finals at 6:30 CT. The events scheduled for Saturday are the 1650 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly and the 400 freestyle relay.
In the 1650 freestyle, sophomore Istvan Bathazi and senior Sarah Doyle will battle the one-mile swim to reach the finals. Doyle was an All-American as a sophomore in this event. Senior Zsolt Gaspar will look for another SEC title as he competes in the 100 freestyle. Gaspar repeated as SEC 50 freestyle champion on Thursday night. In the women’s 100 freestyle, freshman Heather Skaggs looks to compete in her first finals as she enters the event with the 7th best time in the SEC. Sophomore Chris McCrary and sophomore Anna Nyiry figure to be among the competitors in the 200 butterfly. The Gamecocks have been strong all season in the 400 freestyle relay, with their relay times being among the best in the SEC entering the event.
FRIDAY EVENING RESULTS Women’s 400 Individual Medley Consolation 9. Capi Adams, Fr., 4:20.25 Men’s 400 Individual Medley Final 4. Istvan Bathazi, So., 3:48.16 Women’s 100 Butterfly Consolation 11. Heather Skaggs, So., 55.48 16. Sarah Massey, Sr., 56.28 Women’s 100 Butterfly Final 7. Anna Nyiry, So., 54.95 Men’s 100 Butterfly Consolation 9. Chris McCrary, So., 48.45 Men’s 100 Butterfly Final 1. Zsolt Gaspar, Sr, 46.60 Women’s 200 Freestyle Consolation 9. Jenn VanAssen, So., 1:49.14 Men’s 200 Freestyle Consolation 12. Javier Botello, Sr., 1:38.88 Men’s 200 Freestyle Final 4. Tamas Szucs, So., 1:37.22 Women’s 100 Breaststroke Consolation 16. Priscilla Humberstone, So., 1:05.47 Women’s 100 Backstroke Consolation 14. Kristen Butler, Jr., 57.29 Women’s 400 Medley Relay Final 7. 3:47.83 Men’s 400 Medley Relay Final 7. 3:18.79