Beavers Open Home Schedule With Non-league Dual Against Nevada

Nov. 5, 2002

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Nevada at Oregon State; Stevens Natatorium; 11 a.m.

Oregon State hosts its first home swimming dual meet of the season Saturday when it faces Nevada 11 a.m. Saturday at Stevens Natatorium in non-conference swimming action.

The Beavers (1-1, 0-1 Pacific-10) have had a three-week break from competition since they opened the season with a dual meet split Oct. 19 in Los Angeles, beating California-Santa Barbara and losing to host UCLA. Nevada (3-0) continued its unbeaten record by beating California-Davis 177-115 last Saturday.

'They lost their best swimmer who was an NCAA qualifier last season but they picked up some solid freshmen who will have an immediate impact on their team,' OSU head coach Mariusz Podkoscielny said about the Wolf Pack. 'They are well-balanced and they have pretty good depth in many events. Last year it came down to the last couple of events and I expect the same this year.'

In last season's dual, OSU overcame Nevada's 32 points from the diving portion of the meet to earn a 150-144 victory in Reno. With the meet at OSU this season, there will be no diving competition in the dual.

Podkoscielny said OSU has used its time off from compeitition to train and that it is anxious to get on the starting blocks.

'We didn't anticipate having a three-week break and we are used to competing a lot more in the fall,' he said. 'We are looking forward to the challenges this weekend.'

OSU has an all-time record of 8-4 in meets at Stevens Natatorium and Saturday's competition will be the first home meet ever for 10 of OSU's 21 swimmers.

'I think competing at home is going to help us with performance and consistency,' Podkoscielny said. 'I think our girls will be a little more confident than what we showed at the UCLA meet. Being at home and facing a team that we match up very well with will create a better environment for us.

'Its always hard when you go up against a top-10 team and it's the first college meet for half the team. UCLA wasn't the best environment for us to see the true colors of this team. I think this weekend will give us a better idea.'

The Beavers will be without team co-captain Anna Zucker, who is recovering from knee surgery. Podkoscielny said that Leah Schaab and Jessie Hong are not at full strength but will compete Saturday.

OREGON STATE VERSUS NEVADA: Oregon State is 3-7 all-time versus the Wolf Pack. The Beavers have won the last two dual meets between the schools, taking last year's dual 150-144 in Nevada and winning 156-106 in 2001 in Corvallis. That victory ended Nevada's streak of seven consecutive victories against the Beavers.

OSU'S SEASON OPENER: Oregon State opened the season with a dual meet split, defeating California-Santa Barbara 139-123 and falling to UCLA 144-115 Oct. 19 at Sunset Canyon Recreation Center.

Senior Naya Higashijima won the 500-yard freestyle, 1,000 freestyle and 200 butterfly for the Beavers. Junior Birte Steven took first place in the 100 and 200 backstrokes, and Kristin Huston earned OSU's other individual event victory in the 100 freestyle.

'I'm happy with the win against UCSB, but we definitely have room to improve,' OSU head coach Mariusz Podkoscielny said after the meet. 'It's exciting because we improved on our performance from last year and we can see what we can do different. As long as we walk out of here with an idea of what to improve on, and to use this as a learning experience, then it was a good weekend.'

Oregon State started last season with a double-dual at UCSB and against UCLA and dropped both duals.

Oregon State had a good showing in the day's two relay events. The 200 medley relay team of Suzanne Starkey, Steven, Christina Kinney and Huston took second place as did the 400 freestyle team of Huston, Higashijima, Kristi Kuhlmey and Steven.

HEAD COACH MARIUSZ PODKOSCIELNY: Mariusz Podkoscielny is now in his seventh season as head coach at Oregon State, having turned the program around since arriving prior to the 1996-97 season. Under his leadership, the Beavers have posted 3 straight winning seasons, going 22-14 for a .611 winning percentage since the start of the 1999-2000 season.

Since Podkoscielny took over the Beaver program, his teams have a dual meet record of 29-36 overall and 2-19 in the Pacific-10.

Podkoscielny, 34, is a 9-time All-American and 2-time Olympian. Prior to coming to OSU in the fall of 1996, Podkoscielny had been an assistant men's and women's coach at Arizona since 1993.

A native of Gdansk, Poland, Podkoscielny was a member of the Arizona swim team from 1988-92 and was one of the fastest distance swimmers in UA history. He was also on the Polish National Team from 1980-92 and competed in the 1988 and 1992 Olympics.

In June, 2002, Podkoscielny was honored as the OSU Female Sport Coach of the Year at the fourth annual Benny Awards.

SENIOR ALL-AMERICAN NAYA HIGASHIJIMA: Naya Higashijima has led the Beavers in individual event victories in all three of her seasons at OSU, and in her career has 82 first-place finishes in dual meet and invitational competition. So far this season, Higashijima has six wins. As a freshman, Higashijima won 21 races, as a sophomore she won 24 and as a junior 31, including her first 20 individual races to start the season.

Higashijima made her first trip to the NCAA Championships in 2002 as she qualified in the 500 freestyle, 400 individual medley and the 200 butterfly. She set a school record in the 500 freestyle and 200 butterfly, and placed 10th in the 200 butterfly to gain her first All-American honor.

JUNIOR ALL-AMERICAN BIRTE STEVEN: The phrase 'first-ever' was commonly associated with Birte Steven after her performance at the 2002 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. Steven became the first-ever OSU swimmer to earn All-America honors twice in the same meet with her 16th-place finish in the 100 breaststroke and her 11th- place finish in the 200 breaststroke. Combined with her 16th-place finish at the 2001 NCAAs in the 200 breastroke, Steven is OSU's first-ever 3-time All-American.

Steven has 51 first-place finishes in dual meet and individual competition in her career at OSU. This season, Steven has four wins. As a freshman, Steven shared team-high honors in individual event victories with Naya Higashijima at 24 scoring wins. In her sophomore season, Steven placed first in 23 races.

SENIORS CAREER RECORD: Seniors Paula Finlay, Naya Higashijima, Jillian McMinn and Suzanne Starkey have helped Oregon State compile a 22-14 dual meet record during their careers. In their first three years they posted a 21-13 dual meet record behind three consecutive seven-win seasons. That mark (.618 winning percentage) is the best three-year record since OSU joined the Pac-10 and NCAA swimming in the 1986-87 season.

STEVENS NATATORIUM: Oregon State swims its home meets at Stevens Natatorium on the OSU campus. On Saturday OSU will host the first of four dual meets during the 2002-03 season.

The Beavers went 3-1 at home in dual meets last season and have an all-time record of 8-4 in the pool.

Stevens Natatorium is adjacent to Dixon Recreation Center, near Gill Coliseum. The pool opened in 1994 but was not outfitted for competition until prior to the 1999-2000 season.

OSU had scheduled its home meets at Corvallis' Osborn Aquatic Center since the community pool opened for the 1979-80 season. A few meets were still held on campus at Langton Pool.

OREGON STATE SEASON FINISHES: The Beavers 7-5 dual meet record last year marked the third consecutive year that OSU finished with a winning record; that's the longest streak since a 4-year run above .500 from 1987-88 to 1990-91.

OREGON STATE EVENT WINNERS: Naya Higashijima leads OSU swimmers in individual event victories this season with six wins. A look at Beaver leaders for the 2002-03 season.

1. Naya Higashijima	62. Birte Steven	        43. Kristin Huston	2

BEAVERS' PLACES ON SCHOOL TOP-10 LISTS: Members of OSU's 2002-2003 squad hold 51 of the 140 places on the Beavers' list of the top 10 performers in each individual event. Current Beaver swimmers with entries on the OSU all-time leaders list entering the 2002-03 season:

1. Naya Higashijima 	82. Birte Steven	        73. Paula Finlay	        6(tie) Suzanne Starkey	65. Kristin Huston	4(tie) Mari Embertson	47. Jessie Hong	        3(tie) Grace Peterson	39. Jillian McMinn	2(tie) Monika Miroslaw	2(tie) Ausra Pacebutaite	2(tie) Nicole Reynolds	213. Kristi Kuhlmey	1(tie) Christina Kinney	1

WHERE THE BEAVERS RANK ON SCHOOL LISTS: Here are OSU's school records and where membersof the 2002-2003 Beavers (listed in bold type) rank on the school's individualtop-10 list:

50 FREESTYLE1. Amy van Loben Sels	23.11	19942. Kristin Huston	23.40	20026. Suzanne Starkey	23.96	2002100 FREESTYLE1. Amy van Loben Sels	50.64	19952. Kristin Huston	50.98	20027. Suzanne Starkey	52.42	2001200 FREESTYLE1. Kristin Huston	1:50.61	20023. Naya Higashijima	1:52.24	20025. Birte Steven	        1:54.20	200210. Paula Finlay	1:54.99	2000500 FREESTYLE1. Naya Higashijima	4:51.74	20024. Grace Peterson	5:01.83	20027. Birte Steven	        5:05.31	20011,000 FREESTYLE1. Naya Higashijima	10:00.85	20022. Birte Steven	        10:19.01	20026. Grace Peterson	10:26.76	20027. Jillian McMinn	10:38.50	20001,650 FREESTYLE1. Naya Higashijima	16:34.60	20025. Grace Peterson	17:16.71	200210. Jillian McMinn	17:51.30	2000100 BACKSTROKE1. Suzanne Starkey	57.15	20018. Ausra Pacebutaite	59.31	20039. Kristin Huston	59.37	2002200 BACKSTROKE1. Christy Ryerson	2:03.41	19944. Paula Finlay	        2:05.45	20015. Suzanne Starkey	2:05.93	20017. Jessie Hong	        2:06.59	20028. Ausra Pacebutaite	2:07.78	2003100 BUTTERFLY1. Suzanne Starkey	55.77	20023. Naya Higashijima	56.46	20016. Christina Kinney	58.08	2003200 BUTTERFLY1. Naya Higashijima	1:57.72	20022. Suzanne Starkey	2:04.54	20027. Monika Miroslaw	2:08.79	2003100 BREASTSTROKE1. Birte Steven	        1:01.94	20022. Paula Finlay	        1:03.88	20025. Mari Embertson	1:06.38	20029. Nicole Reynolds	1:07.45	2002200 BREASTSTROKE1. Birte Steven	        2:12.96	20022. Paula Finlay	        2:16.61	20023. (tie) Mari Embertson	2:20.77	20028. Nicole Reynolds	2:23.87	2002200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY1. Birte Steven	        2:04.01	20022. Paula Finlay	        2:04.54	20023. Mari Embertson	2:06.56	20027. Jessie Hong	        2:08.39	20028. Naya Higashijima	2:08.40	2002400 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY1. Naya Higashijima	4:18.98	20022. Mari Embertson	4:20.23	20023. Birte Steven	        4:21.54	20025. Paula Finlay	        4:28.30	20016. Jessie Hong	        4:28.31	20029. Kristi Kuhlmey	4:34.50	200310. Monika Miroslaw	4:34.89	2003

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