Higashijima, Steven Set School Records At Opening Day Of Conference Swimming Championships

Feb. 28, 2002

LONG BEACH, Calif. - Oregon State shattered two individual school records and set a school record in the 4x100 medley relay during the opening day of the Pacific-10 Conference Swimming Championships at Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in Long Beach, Calif. The meet resumes 11 a.m. Friday morning for the Beavers, who are in ninth place in the team competition with 97 points.

Naya Higashijima's 200-yard butterfly time of 1 minute, 57.92 seconds shattered her own Oregon State record of 2:00.32 and qualified her for the NCAA Championships. Higashijima swam a time trial in the event Thursday because preliminaries and finals for the event will take place on Saturday, and the junior will be competing in the 1,650 freestyle races as well that day.

Kristin Huston was the only OSU individual to place in a finals race Thursday, taking 17th in the 50 freestyle with a time of 23.40. Huston's time was a personal record and met the NCAA Championship consideration time of 23.50.

'We were expecting Kristin to go that well,' OSU head coach Mariusz Podkoscielny said. 'She's been very consistent this season and we thought she was capable of placing well.'

Suzanne Starkey, Birte Steven, Higashijima and Huston teamed to place sixth in the 4x100 medley relay, and their time of 3:46.45 broke the school record the group set at 3:48:03 earlier this season. Starkey also swam a leg on the 200 freestyle relay, along with Bonnie Renwick, Verena Haas and Paula Finlay, which placed ninth.

Steven competed as an exhibition swimmer in the 200 individual medley and recorded a school record time of 2:04.01, clipping Finlay's former record time of 2:04.59.

'I'm very pleased with today,' Podkoscielny said. 'This is the best day of Pac-10s we've ever had. This is by far the fastest championships ever and we swam well, and have a lot of good swims ahead of us. We are excited.'

DAY 1 FINALS

TEAM RESULTS: 1. Stanford, 442, 2. California, 366, 3. University Southern California, 365.5, 4. Arizona, 297, 5. UCLA, 259, 6. Arizona State, 228, 7. Washington, 132.5, 8. Washington State, 129, 9. Oregon State, 97.

200-YARD FREESTYLE RELAY - 1. California, 1:30.47, 9. Oregon State A (Starkey, Renwick, Haas, Finlay), 1:36.24, Oregon State B (exhibition) (Chambers, Steven, Higashijima, Personius), 1:39.82. 500-YARD FREESTYLE - 1. Emily Mason, Arizona, 4:38.79. 200 YARD INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY - 1. Shelly Ripple, Stanford, 1:56.64, Birte Steven (exhibition), Oregon State, 2:04.01. 50-YARD FREESTYLE - 1. Lacey Boutwell, Stanford, 22.73, 17. Kristin Huston, Oregon State, 23.40. 400-YARD MEDLEY RELAY - 1. Stanford, 3:36.54, 6. Oregon State A (Starkey, Steven, Higashijima, Huston), 3:46.45, Oregon State B (exhibition) (Hong, Finlay, Renwick, Haas), 3:54.70.

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