Swimming Remains In Ninth At Pac-10s.

Feb. 23, 2001

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - - Oregon State freshman Birte Steven continued her revision of the school recordbooks as she broke her own record in the 100-yard breaststroke on Friday while the Beavers remained in ninth place at the Pacific-10 Women's Swimming Championships at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center.

Steven set the record with a time of 1:02.24 - breaking the old mark of 1:02.45 - in the morning's preliminary round to qualify for the evening's finals, where she placed eighth with a time of 1:03.73. Steven became just the third OSU swimmer in the last six years to place in the top-eight, as sophomore Paula Finlay finished eighth in the 100 breaststroke at last year's conference championships. Steven has broken school records nine times this season.

After totaling 231 points in two days, the Beavers trail eighth-place Washington by 35 heading into Saturday's final round of competition.

With expectations running high entering the weekend, OSU will have to fight off any disappointment due to its ninth-place standing.

'This was a hard day,' head coach Mariusz Podkoscielny said. 'Our expectations were a lot higher this year, so now we have to make the best of what's left of the weekend. There are some bright spots though,' the fifth-year coach said.

Most of those bright spots came in the 100 breaststroke, where three other Beavers scored points with appearances in the finals in addition to Steven's eighth place.

Finlay placed 19th with a season-best 1:05.09, while Kristen Severance and Sheila Tehranchi finished 22nd and 23rd. Severance's time of 1:05.94 tied her season's best, while Tehranchi gave her season's best effort with a 1:06.27.

Steven provided OSU with its second-highest finish of the night, as she placed 16th in the 400 individual medley with a time of 4:33.74.

Also scoring points for OSU was Bonnie Renwick, whose time of 57.90 in the 100 butterfly was good for 23rd.

OSU took eighth in the 200 medley relay and the 800 freestyle relay, edging out Washington in both races.

Suzanne Starkey, Steven, Renwick, and Arianna Higuera finished the 200 medley relay in 1:45.41, while Steven, Naya Higashijima, Finlay, and Trista Hedlind recorded a 7:40.43 in the 800 freestyle relay.

OSU did not qualify any swimmers in the 200 freestyle or the 100 backstroke.

The Beavers will try to focus on the positives from the first two days and concentrate on making up ground on Saturday.

'From now on, it's all emotional and mental,' Podkoscielny said. 'There's nothing more we can do to prepare physically, we just have to get out of this slump. We're within striking distance of Washington, and there are a lot of important races tomorrow.

'The Pac-10s are a humbling experience. These are the best swimmers not only in the country, but in the world. We need to get up and race hard tomorrow.'

Arizona overtook USC for the overall lead, overcoming an 18-point deficit after day-one, while Stanford's Tara Kirk set a conference record in the 100 breaststroke with a 59.58. She broke the old record of 59.71

The championship continues Saturday with preliminaries starting at 11 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m.

FINAL RESULTS, DAY TWO

1. Arizona 795, 2. USC 771.5, 3. UCLA 766, 4. Stanford 702, California 642.5, 6. Arizona State 483.5, 7. Washington State 289, 8. Washington 266, 9. Oregon State 231.

(Winners and Oregon State placers)

200 MEDLEY RELAY - 1. Stanford (Champion, Kirk, Hyman, Ripple), 1:39.58, OSU `A' (Starkey, Steven, Renwick, Higuera), 1:45.41, OSU `B' (exhibition) (Hsieh, Finlay, Higashijima, Hedlind), DQ

400 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY - 1. Michala Kwasny, USC 4:16.41, 16. Birte Steven, OSU 4:33.74.

100 BUTTERFLY - 1. Misty Hyman, Stanford 51.83 (meet record), 23. Bonnie Renwick, OSU 57.90.

200 FREESTYLE - 1. Lauren Thies, Stanford 1:46.36, no OSU placers.

100 BREASTSTROKE - 1. Tara Kirk, Stanford 59.58 (conference record), 8. Birte Steven, OSU 1:03.73, 19. Paula Finlay, OSU 1:05.09, 22. Kristen Severance, OSU 1:05.94, 23. Sheila Tehranchi, OSU 1:06.27.

100 BACKSTROKE - 1. Misty Hyman, Stanford 53.52, no OSU placers.

800 FREESTYLE RELAY - 1. Stanford `A' (Ripple, Hyman, Foschi, Thies), 7:10.28 (meet record), 8. OSU `A' (Steven, Higashijima, Finlay, Hedlind), 7:40.43.

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