Feb. 20, 2003
Auburn, Ala. – As the second day of Southeastern Conference Championships, the USC men’s and women’s swimming and diving team find themselves in very different situations. The women’s team is in the upper half of their nine-team bracket. They are currently number four with 177 points, just 20 points out of third place, held by Florida. The men are sixth in their eight-team tier with 102.5 points.
For the second day in a row, the highlite for the women’s team was the diving. Two divers, Allison Brennan and Lauren King, qualified for the finals. Brennan ended at number five with 279.20 points and King ended just ahead of her in fourth with 287.60 points. The men did not have a diving competition today. They will compete in the 3-meter tomorrow. Head diving coach Todd Sherritt said, “I am pleased with what happened today with the diving. The girls did well and were on today and were able to hit the majority of their dives. Tomorrow we are going to be looking to the guys to do as well as the girls have been doing. We are expecting all three of them to finish in the top 16. Andy [Bradley] has a chance to win the thing, we are expecting Dean [Emmerton] to finish top eight and qualify for finals and Ian [Balman] should definately be in the top 16 of the day.”
The women’s team also finished fifth in the 200 freestyle relay. The team, consisting of Haley Skaggs (23.61), Ashleigh Bastak (23.27), Carolynn McHugh (22.88) and Jennifer VanAssen (22.87) ended with a total time of 1:32.63. That is the second best time of the year for the Gamecocks, and the top time for USC since losing Anna Nyiry and Heather Skaggs to injury. Bronwyn Dedekind and Stephanie Margalis finished 12th and 14th in the 500 freestyle. Dedekind swam the race in 4:55.22 and Margalis swam in 4:55.98. That is Dedekind’s best time of her career. Also reaching the finals were Bastak and VanAssen in the 50 freestyle. Bastak finished in 23.29 giving her 13th place and VanAssen finished in 23.18 putting her in 11th. That time is Bastak’s best of the season.
The men’s team’s solo finalist came in junior Chris McCrary. He placed sixth overall in the race with a time of 20.07. That time ties his best of the year. The 200 freestyle relay team finished eighth with a time of 1:21.22. The team consisted of McCrary (20.18), Ed Murphy (19.89), Josh Parkin (20.67) and Reid Duff (20.48). Murphy’s time of 19.89 is the fastest that any Gamecock has swum the 50 freestyle this year.
Head Coach Don Gibb said of Thursday’s events, “We are happy with the way the women are performing and we are looking forward to them keeping it up. The men have got to get something going. Today’s events weren’t really what we are good at, so we should be able to do better tomorrow and in the future.”
SEC Championships continue tomorrow with the following schedule:
400 IM 100 Butterfly 200 Freestyle 100 Breaststroke 100 Backstroke
Men’s 3-meter springboard prelims
6:30 p.m. (Finals)
400 IM 100 Butterfly 200 Freestyle 100 Breaststroke 100 Backstroke Men’s 3-meter Diving 400 Medley Relay