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Dec. 5, 2003

Auburn, Ala. – The University of South Carolina swimming and diving teams continued competition at the Auburn Invitational with the second day of preliminaries as the Gamecocks qualified 17 swimmers for tonight’s championship final. For the second consecutive day, seniors Istvan Bathazi and Jennifer VanAssen won their preliminary heat competitions in their respective events. VanAssen, who qualifed for the Olympic Trials yesterday afternoon in the 50 freestyle, went 2:02.61 to win the 200 meter freestyle. Bathazi earned first place in the 400 meter individual medley with a time of 4:27.59. Both marks made were also NCAA “B” standards. All three preliminary competitions are raced in meters (long course) with the finals raced in yards (short course).

On the women’s side, Carolina qualified four swimmers for tonight’s championship final in the 100 butterfly. Heather Skaggs (1:03.47) was third, Carolynn McHugh finished sixth (1:04.58), Kendel Fiorentino placed seventh (1:04.76) and Meagan Johnson took eighth place (1:05.55) to lead the Gamecocks. Also qualifying for tonight’s final in the 200 meter freestyle with VanAssen was senior Bronwyn Dedekind, who placed eighth with a time of 2:07.75. Kendel Fiorentino took eighth place in the 100 breaststroke (1:17.34) to round out the women’s qualifiers.

On the men’s side, the Gamecocks put four swimmers in the championship final in the 200 freestyle. Tamas Szucs was second (1:54.45), Tamas Bathazi placed third (1:54.47), Colby Mack took third (1:55.34) and Reid Duff finished eighth (1:58.55). Along with Istvan Bathazi, Carolina will also have Mike Farrington in the 400 individual medley final after a fourth place finish (4:38.38). Josh Parkin took third in the 100 butterfly (56.84), Justin Kata was fourth in the 100 breaststroke (1:08.10) and Sean Condon was seventh in the 100 backstroke (1:02.81) rounding out the men’s finalists. Tonight’s finals will begin at 6 p.m. CT.