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March 19, 2003

Auburn, Ala. – The South Carolina women’s swimming and diving team heads back to Auburn, Ala. this weekend for the NCAA Championships beginning Thursday morning. Fresh off a sixth place finish at the SEC Championships, South Carolina enters this weekend with four swimmers and two divers competing in this year’s championships.

Junior swimmer Jennifer VanAssen enters as one of the top 200 freestyle swimmers in the country with a school record time of 1:46.95, tied for 10th fastest in the nation. VanAssen will also compete in the 50 and 100 freestyle events and as one of four members of the 200 freestyle relay.

Also swimming for USC is sophomore Carolynn McHugh. McHugh, also swimming in the 200 freestyle relay, will individually compete in the 50 and 100 freestyle events as well as the 100 butterfly. Swimming with VanAseen and McHugh in the 200 freestyle relay are junior Ashleigh Bastak and freshman Haley Skaggs.

On the diving side, sophomores Tracey Richardson (503.65) and Lauren King (501.45) are fresh off qualifying from last week’s NCAA Zones competition. Richardson placed fourth on the three-meter board with a score of 503.65 and King was right behind in fifth place with a score of 501.45. Richardson, the SEC champion in the three-meter board qualified for her second consecutive year. This is also King’s second time qualifying for the NCAA Championships and her first as a member of USC.

Thursday preliminaries begin at 11 a.m. CT with Carolina competing in the 200 freestyle relay, 50 freestyle and one-meter diving competition. Finals are scheduled for 7 p.m. CT.