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Oct. 15, 2003

Columbia, S.C. – Fresh off a sweep of the College of Charleston last Friday afternoon, the University of South Carolina men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams return to the pool on Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m. with a dual meet at Clemson. Carolina’s men’s and women’s teams are both 1-0 on the year. The Gamecocks have won the previous two meetings on both the men’s and women’s sides vs. the Tigers.

“The Carolina-Clemson rivalry is great and there is a lot of emotion involved,” said USC head coach Don Gibb. “I think our kids are prepared and physically they are definitely in great shape. They understand what the meet means and what is on the line.”

Last season the men’s team won by a score of 152-91 and the women’s score was 149-94. On the men’s side, eight swimmers bettered their individual bests and five set new team highs for the season. The women also looked dominant, winning all but three individual events. The women’s team combined to set five new personal best records and four new team highs. In the diving portion of the meet, the women took places 1-4 on the 1-meter board and 1-3 on the 3-meter. The men, anchored by Andy Bradley’s fourth straight win, placed first as a team in both categories as well.

In the first meet of the season at College of Charleston, The Gamecocks dominated the evening in almost every event held at the competition facility. USC’s women’s swimming team was led by Carolynn McHugh who finished first in the 200 meter IM and the 100 meter freestyle. Other top place finishers for Carolina were Kaelon May (800 freestyle), Heather Skaggs (200 freestyle), Ashleigh Bastak (50 freestyle), Meredith Ruka (200 butterfly) and Bronwyn Dedekind (200 backstroke). Swimming exhibition for the remainder of the event, Carolina came away with top times from May in the 400 freestyle, and Kendel Fiorentino in the 200 breaststroke. For the women’s diving team, all three divers who competed secured a NCAA automatic qualifying score for the NCAA Zones Competition. Lauren King led the way on the one meter diving springboard (319.5) while Holly Hodges (313.43), and Lyndsey Havens (295.50) finished second and third.

On the men’s side, Carolina had several swimmers having success on the opening day of the season and being competitive in every event as the men’s team posted first place finishes in six individual swimming events. Tamas Szucs finished in first place in the 200 freestyle and secured the top time in the 400 freestyle as well. Other first place finishers for Carolina included Tim Farrington (800 freestyle), Ed Murphy (50 freestyle), Istvan Bathazi (200 IM), Tamas Bathazi (200 butterfly) and Reid Duff (100 freestyle). Swimming exhibition for the remainder of the event, Carolina came away with top times from Lir Derieg (200 backstroke) and Istvan Bathazi (200 breaststroke).

The men’s divers continued their strong success from the 2003 season with Carolina divers taking the top three positions in the male one meter diving competition. All three men’s divers also qualified for the NCAA Zones Competition. Andy Bradley (414.90) took first place while Dean Emmerton (342.45) placed second and Ian Balman (310.13) finished in third.

“It was a really good experience for the freshmen and it was important for them to see what a college meet is all about,” said Coach Gibb. “Fundamentally, we have a lot of areas we have to improve on and things that can’t happen against some of the teams we will be competing against in the future. Little things, like good starts turns and mental errors, which we work to correct every day in practice and hope to have fixed when it comes down to the meet.”