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March 20, 2003

Auburn, Ala. – The South Carolina women’s swimming and diving team opened up the 2003 NCAA Championships with sophomore diver Lauren King earning All-American honors with a seventh place finish on the one-meter board. South Carolina currently sits in a tie for 20th place at the NCAA Championships with 12 points.

King, who is competing in her first year at USC, scored 287.70 in the finals. Sophomore Tracey Richardson also competed on the one-meter board and finished 26th with a score of 243.20 in the preliminary competition.

“It’s absolutely huge for Lauren to final and be among the top eight on the one-meter board in the first day,” said USC head diving coach Todd Sherritt. “The low board is so tough and their are so many good divers, it’s just awesome how she competed and was able to finish. She didn’t miss a dive and I’m proud of her. It’s my goal to get both her and Tracey in the finals tomorrow.”

Junior swimmer Jennifer VanAssen and sophomore Carolynn McHugh each competed in the 50 freestyle for USC. VanAssen finished the prelims with a time of 23.35 for 40th place and McHugh was 67th with a time of 24.09. The 200 freestyle relay team of VanAssen, McHugh, Ashleigh Bastak and Haley Skaggs was disqualified in the prelims.

South Carolina heads back tot he pool tomorrow for the second day of competition, featuring VanAssen in the 200 freestyle, McHugh in the 100 butterfly and King and Richardson competing on the three-meter board. Richardson is the SEC champion on the three-meter board and VanAssen holds the 10th fastest time in the nation in the 200 freestyle.