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July 8, 2004

Long Beach, Calif. – South Carolina All-American Jennifer VanAssen will begin competition on Friday afternoon at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials in attempt to earn a spot on the 2004 United States Olympic Squad that will compete in Athens, Greece this August. The 2004 national runner-up in both the 100 and 200 meter freestyle events at the NCAA Championships, VanAssen starts in the 200 meter freestyle on Friday afternoon in the preliminaries. Also competing at the Trials next week is All-American Ashleigh Bastak, who was a member of the 200 freestyle relay team with VanAssen that placed fifth at the 2004 NCAA Championships.

First-place finishers in each event at Trials automatically qualify, while the second place finishers may be added throughout the week, pending other swimmers qualifying in multiple events.

In her four years at South Carolina, VanAssen rewrote the record book as the USC record holder in the 100 and 200 freestyle events as well as a member of record-breaking 200, 400 & 800 freestyle relay squads. VanAssen earned All-American honors in the 100 and 200 freestyle events in both her junior and senior seasons.