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Feb. 21, 2003

Auburn, Ala. – The third day of competition at the Southeastern Conference Championships in Auburn saw highs and lows for both the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams. The apex of the day came as junior Jennifer VanAssen qualified first in the women’s 200 freestyle with a time of 1:46.95. With the performance, VanAssen broke her own school record which she set at Auburn in the Auburn Invitational. The time also automatically qualified her for the NCAA Championships. She finished the final heat number six and was South Carolina’s lone swimmer in the finals.

In the consolation finals of the same event, freshman Katie Bowden finished seventh in her heat and 15th overall with a time of 1:50.43. Bowden’s qualifying time of 1:50.26 was her personal best. Coming up just short of qualifying for the 200 free finals was junior Bronwyn Dedekind, who finished with a personal best time of 1:50.42. She finished 18th overall. Also finishing 18th and barely missing the cut was Carolynn McHugh in the 100 butterfly. She swam the event in 56.42. In the 400 medley relay, Carolina’s combination of Kristen Butler, Stephanie Margalis, McHugh and Ashleigh Bastak finished in the ninth spot with a time of 3:55.50.

The men were represented by Chris McCrary, who finished 14th in the men’s 100 butterfly with a time of 49.08. Just failing to make the 18-swimmer finals was Lir Derieg in the 100 backstroke. He swam the prelims in 50.88, missing the cut by only .11 seconds. Justin Kata finished 21st overall in the 100 breaststroke, but in so doing set a new season- and personal best in the event with a time of 58.33. In the men’s 400 medley relay, the combination of Derieg, Brandon Buslepp, Josh Parkin and Reid Duff finished seventh with a time of 3:22.42.

Also representing the men was sophomore diver Andy Bradley, who finished fourth overall in the men’s 3-meter springboard. It is Bradley’s second fourth place finish of this meet. He placed the same spot in the 1-meter competition.

Tomorrow, Feb. 22, is the last day of competition and will feature the following schedule of events:

10:30 a.m. (Preliminaries)

200 Backstroke 100 Freestyle 200 Breaststroke 200 Butterfly

12:30 p.m.

Women’s platform

3:30 p.m.

Men’s platform

4:00 p.m.

1650 – All but final heats

6:30 p.m. (Finals)

1650 Women’s platform 200 Backstroke 100 Freestyle 200 Breaststroke 200 Butterfly Men’s Platform 400 Freestyle Relay