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Dec. 5, 2003


Auburn, Ala. – South Carolina swimming and diving completed competition on the second day of the Auburn Invitational with senior Jennifer VanAssen breaking her own school record in the 200 freestyle with a first place finish at a time of 1:46.07. VanAssen, who qualified for the US Olympic Trials yesterday in the 50 freestyle, became the first USC swimmer this season to automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships with her time in the 200 freestyle. Senior Istvan Bathazi also took first place for the men’s squad in the 400 individual medley, swimming 3:48.57 to reach a NCAA “B” standard.

“I’m very excited about Jennifer’s 200 freestyle, it was a great swim and that has to be one of the better times in the nation,” said USC head coach Don Gibb. “Istvan’s swim was also a great effort. I’m pretty pleased with our results so far. We have had a lot of personal bests in the last two days. I hope we can close it out tomorrow on a positive note.”

Also reaching a NCAA “B” standard with a second place finish in the 200 freestyle was senior Tamas Szucs. Szucs went 1:37.79 in the 200 freestyle. One other swimmer to reach the “B” standard was sophomore Haley Skaggs, who won the consolation final of the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:50.65.

Carolina had many swimmers swim in the championship finals this evening. On the men’s side, junior Joshua Parkin placed second in the 100 butterfly with a time of 49.45. Along with Szucs in the 200 freestyle final, freshman Colby Mack placed third (1:39.38), sophomore Tamas Bathazi was fourth (1:39.63) and sophomore Reid Duff took seventh (1:40.66). Mike Farrington joined Istvan Bathazi in the 400 individual medley and was seventh with a time of 4:03.50. Rounding out on the men’s side, Justin Kata was fifth in the 100 breaststroke (58.02) and Sean Condon was seventh in the 100 backstroke (54.09). The men’s 800 freestyle relay took second place with a time of 6:41.14 (Istvan Bathazi, Tamas Szucs, Tamas Bathazi, Colby Mack).

For the women’s team, the Gamecocks went 4-5-6-8 in the 100 butterfly. Heather Skaggs was fourth (56.10), Carolynn McHugh was fifth (56.66), Meagan Johnson finished sixth (56.99) and Kendel Fiorentino placed eighth (58.30). Bronwyn Dedekind also competed in the 200 freestyle with VanAssen and Haley Skaggs with Dedekind taking fifth place (1:51.64). Meredith Ruka also took fifth place in the 400 individual medley (4:29.18) and Aunya Nance was seventh (1:06.96) and Fiorentino was eighth (1:08.31) in the 100 breaststroke. The women’s 800 freestyle relay team reached the “B” standard with a time of 7:22.63 (Jennifer VanAssen, Bronwyn Dedekind, Heather Skaggs, Haley Skaggs).

The final day of the Auburn Invitational will take place on Saturday, December 6. Similar to the previous two days, the preliminaries will take place in meters (long course) and the finals in yards (short course).