March 18, 2004
College Station, Texas – South Carolina junior diver Allison Brennan became South Carolina’s first national champion in swimming and diving with a first place finish in the one-meter springboard competition at the 2004 NCAA Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships. Brennan finished the finals competition with a score of 307.20. The Gamecocks sit in ninth place after day one with a score of 52.5 points.
“There nothing that can top winning a national championship,” said USC head diving coach Todd Sherritt. “We’ve always believed we can do it and tonight it happened with Allison. In the prelims she was steady and tonight I told her to be very confident and she was. Our whole team has done a great job and I’m blessed to coach such talented athletes. I’m happy for what this brings to our swimming and diving program and what it means for us here at South Carolina.”
South Carolina also competed in the 200 meter freestyle relay with the quartet of Heather Skaggs, Jennifer VanAssen, Carolynn McHugh and Ashleigh Bastak advancing to the finals and finishing in fifth place with a time of 1:41.00. Skaggs also reached the consolation finals of the 50 meter freestyle and tied for 13th place with a time of 25.54.
“It was an exciting first day for our program,” said USC head swimming coach Don Gibb. “We are happy with where we are at after our first day and we will be just as strong tomorrow. What Allison accomplished is enormous and it puts our program in a whole new catgeory in how we are viewed in swimming and diving. I was proud of our freestyle relay team as well, with this the first time we have been in this position. It’s a great way to go into tomorrow’s competition and a a momentum booster. With Jennifer (VanAssen) in the 200 freestyle, Heather (Skaggs) and Carolynn (McHugh) in the butterfly and our divers competing on the three-meter, it should be another exciting day.”
South Carolina had two additional divers competing on the one-meter board with junior Lauren King finishing in 16th place (259.60) and junior Holly Hodges taking 17th place (259.00).
JUNIOR Allison Brennan COMMENTS ON WINNING THE ONE-METER BOARD COMPETITION
ON WINNING A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
“It’s unbelievable. Awesome, great, fabulous, words can’t even begin to describe it. I felt very confident and determined going into tonight’s competition. I look forward to competing on the three-meter board tomorrow. I can’t just settle on this, I still need to compete and do the best for our team.”
ON WINNING A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP AFTER NARROWLY MISSING A SPOT QUALIFYING FOR NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS LAST SEASON
“It made me more hungry and I wanted it more after I didn’t qualify last year. I think I understood better what I needed to do to achieve my goals.”
ON COMPETING THIS PAST SUMMER WITH THE US NATIONAL TEAM AND AT THE WORLD UNIVERSITY GAMES
“I think it helped me a lot. It lit the fire under me and insipred me more to realize my goals and what I wanted to accomplish.”