Swimmers Wrap Up Dual Meet Portion Of Season At Washington

Feb. 6, 2003

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State completes the dual meet portion of its schedule as the Beavers face 24th-ranked Washington on Saturday in Seattle. The meet will be OSU's final competition before the Pacific-10 Conference Championships start on Feb. 27.

'This meet is the memory we are going to carry into the Pac-10s,' OSU head coach Mariusz Podkoscielny said. 'I just want our team racing hard. We want to go after individual races and not worry about the score until the meet is over.'

Both schools bring impressive streaks into Saturday's contest. The Beavers (12-2 overall, 2-2 Pac-10) have won nine dual meets in a row after splitting a double dual at San Jose State on Nov. 15. The Huskies (10-0, 1-0) have won 15 straight dating back to last season.

'They are a deep team and have no weak events,' Podkoscielny said of the Huskies. 'Every race is going to be competitive. We want to make sure that we swim tough for all 14 events.'

The Beavers have the opportunity to set the school record for dual meet wins in a season Saturday. OSU has tied the mark of 12 wins first set by the 1979-80 squad. Standing in the Beavers' way is a program Oregon State has never defeated.

'The pressure is on them not us,' Podkoscielny said of Washington, which has a 25-0 all-time mark against the Beavers. 'It'll be a bigger story for them if they lose to us. It's a good rivalry and we don't approach it any differently than our other meets.'

When the Beavers return, they'll direct their focus to preparing for the Pac-10 Championships.

'The team is in the best shape we've ever been, and we are coming off the best year we've had,' Podkoscielny. 'We will do will do some fine-tuning physically and emotionally to get ready for Pac-10s.'

OREGON STATE-WASHINGTON ALL-TIME SERIES: Oregon State has an all-time record of 0-25 against the Huskies. Washington won last year's meet in Corvallis 132-130. The two schools first met in 1980.

OSU SWEEPS WSU: Oregon State picked up two wins over Washington State in a pair of 11-event duals on Jan. 31-Feb. 1 in Corvallis. OSU won Friday's contest 100-78 and took Saturday's 102-84.

Five swimmers won individual events in the first meet and Kristin Huston and Naya Higashijima led the Beavers in the weekend's the second meet with two wins each.

''It's good to get the wins, but more importantly we were racing hard and what we did in the pool was what we were looking for,' OSU head coach Mariusz Podkoscielny said. 'We were in control of the meets but what stood out in my mind was how aggressively we approached every event.'

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 4 straight winning dual meet seasons, going 33-15 for a .680 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 40-37 overall and 4-20 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 3 of her seasons at OSU, and in her career has 106 first-place finishes in dual meet and invitational competition. So far this season, Higashijima has a team-high 30 wins. As a freshman, she 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-yard 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-yard 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 70 first-place finishes in dual meet and individual competition in her career at OSU. This season, Steven has 25 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.

OREGON STATE RECEIVES VOTES IN NATIONAL POLL: Oregon State received votes in the College Swimming Coaches Association of America Top 25 poll released Jan. 16; they did not receive votes in the Jan. 30 poll. The Beavers first received votes in the Dec. 10 poll; it is believed to have been the first time OSU ever received votes in the national women's swimming poll. The Pac-10 currently has 7 teams ranked in the top 25, led by Southern California at No. 4.

OREGON STATE WIN TOTALS: The Beavers 12-2 dual meet record this season ties the school record for wins in a season set by the 1979-80 team.

This is the fourth consecutive year that OSU will finish with a winning record; that matches the school's second-best streak from 1987-88 to 1990-91. The school record for consecutive winning seasons is seven (1977-78 to 1983-84). This is the fourth straight season, and the 10th ever, that an Oregon State team has recorded at least seven wins.

OSU has won 18 straight dual meets against non-league foes. The last non-league opponent to defeat the Beavers is California-Santa Barabara, which beat the Beavers 136-124 in the first meet of the 2001-02 season.

SENIORS CAREER RECORD: Seniors Paula Finlay, Naya Higashijima, Jillian McMinn and Suzanne Starkey have helped Oregon State compile a 33-15 dual meet record during their careers. In their first 3 years they posted a 21-13 dual meet record on the strength of 3 consecutive seven-win seasons. That mark (.618 winning percentage) is the best 3-year record since OSU joined the Pac-10 and NCAA swimming prior to the 1986-87 season.

BEAVERS AMONG NATION'S TOP TIMES: Oregon State had a number of marks among the season's top 75 times in NCAA Divison I through Jan. 29. Here's where the Beavers rank among the national leaders:

50 FREESTYLE57. Kristin Huston	23.58500 FREESTYLE31. Naya Higashijima	4:50.761,000 FREESTYLE19. Naya Higashijima	9:56.74100 BACKSTROKE44. Suzanne Starkey	56.51100 BUTTERFLY36. Suzanne Starkey	55.76200 BUTTERFLY9. Naya Higashijima	1:58.50200 BREASTSTROKE5. Birte Steven	2:12.0253. Paula Finlay	2:18.7972. Mari Embertson	2:19.59100 BREASTSTROKE6. Birte Steven	1:01.6836. Paula Finlay	1:03.80200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY39. Birte Steven	2:03.62400 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY52. Monika Miroslaw	4:23.40200 MEDLEY RELAY13. Oregon State	1:42.98400 MEDLEY RELAY14. Oregon State	3:44.31200 FREESTYLE RELAY36. Oregon State	1:35.66400 FREESTYLE RELAY32. Oregon State	3:28.77800 FREESTYLE RELAY24. Oregon State	7:31.76

STEVENS NATATORIUM: Oregon State swims its home meets at Stevens Natatorium on the OSU campus. The Beavers went 4-0 at home in dual meets this season; it's the first time they've gone unbeaten for a season at Stevens Natatorium. OSU has an all-time record of 11-4 in the pool and OSU is 7-1 at home the past two seasons.

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 EVENT WINNERS: Naya Higashijima leads OSU swimmers in individual event victories this season with 30 wins. A look at Beaver event winners for the 2002-03 season (exhibition wins as a non-scoring competitor in parentheses) through Feb. 1:

1. Naya Higashijima	(2) 302. Birte Steven	(4) 253. Kristin Huston	154. Suzanne Starkey	(1) 105. Ausra Pacebutaite	(1) 96. Kristi Kuhlmey	87. Monika Miroslaw	28. Paula Finlay	1(tie) Christina Kinney	1(tie) Jessie Hong	1(tie) Mari Embertson	1

BEAVERS RE-WRITING RECORD BOOK: So far this season Oregon State has set 13 records in 10 different events. All of the record-setting swims took place during the Husky Invitational:

    1,000 FREESTYLE: Naya Higashijima, 9:56.74; Dec. 5.     400 MEDLEY RELAY: Ausra Pacebutaite, Birte Steven, Suzanne Starkey, Kristin Huston, 3:44.31; Dec. 6.     500 FREESTYLE: Naya Higashijima, 4:50.86; Dec. 6 (prelims).     500 FREESTYLE: Naya Higashijima, 4:50.76; Dec. 6 (finals).     200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY: Birte Steven, 2:03.62; Dec. 6.     200 FREESTYLE RELAY: Kristin Huston, Suzanne Starkey, Ausra Pacebutaite, Paula Finlay, 1:35.66; Dec. 6.     100 BACKSTROKE: Suzanne Starkey, 56.51; Dec. 7.     100 BUTTERFLY: Suzanne Starkey, 55:76; Dec. 7.     100 BREAST: Birte Steven, 1:01.70; Dec. 7 (prelims).     100 BREAST: Birte Steven, 1:01.68; Dec. 7 (finals).     200 MEDLEY RELAY: Suzanne Starkey, Birte Steven, Christina Kinney, Kristin Huston, 1:42.98; Dec. 7.     200 BREAST: Birte Steven, 2:12.86; Dec. 8 (prelims).     200 BREAST: Birte Steven, 2:12.02; Dec. 8 (finals).

BEAVERS' PLACES ON SCHOOL TOP-10 LISTS: Members of OSU's 2002-2003 squad hold 60 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 through Feb. 1:

1. Naya Higashijima 	82. Birte Steven	        73. Suzanne Starkey	64. Paula Finlay	        55. Mari Embertson	4(tie) Kristin Huston	4(tie) Christina Kinney	4(tie) Danielle Kinney	4(tie). Kristi Kuhlmey	4(tie) Monika Miroslaw	411. Jessie Hong	3(tie) Ausra Pacebutaite	3(tie). Ashleigh Thomas	216. Jillian McMinn	1(tie) Leah Schaab	1

OSU FRESHMEN: So far this season, seven Oregon State freshmen hold a combined 22 spots on the school's top-10 performance list. Christina Kinney, Danielle Kinney, Kristi Kuhlmey and Monika Miroslaw each hold four spots.

WHERE THE BEAVERS RANK ON SCHOOL LISTS: Here are OSU's school records and where members of the 2002-2003 Beavers (listed in bold type) rank on the school's individual top-10 list through Feb. 1:

50 FREESTYLE1. Amy van Loben Sels	23.11	19942. Kristin Huston	23.40	20024. Suzanne Starkey	23.85	20039. Ausra Pacebutaite	24.46	2003

100 FREESTYLE1. Amy van Loben Sels 50.64 19952. Kristin Huston 50.98 20027. Suzanne Starkey 52.42 2001

200 FREESTYLE1. Kristin Huston 1:50.61 20023. Kristi Kuhlmey 1:51.72 20034. Naya Higashijima 1:52.24 20026. Birte Steven 1:54.20 20029. Danielle Kinney 1:54.54 2003500 FREESTYLE1. Naya Higashijima 4:50.76 20032. Kristi Kuhlmey 4:57.61 20037. Danielle Kinney 5:02.48 20039. Birte Steven 5:05.31 2001

1,000 FREESTYLE1. Naya Higashijima 10:00.85 20022. Kristi Kuhlmey 10:15.57 20033. Birte Steven 10:19.01 20028. Danielle Kinney 10:33.89 20039. Jillian McMinn 10:38.50 2000

1,650 FREESTYLE1. Naya Higashijima 16:34.60 20022. Kristi Kuhlmey 17:04.35 20037. Danielle Kinney 17:22.84 2003

100 BACKSTROKE1. Suzanne Starkey 56.51 20034. Ausra Pacebutaite 57.54 20039. Kristin Huston 59.37 200210. Ashleigh Thomas 1:00.24 2003

200 BACKSTROKE1. Christy Ryerson 2:03.41 19942. Jessie Hong 2:04.55 20035. Paula Finlay 2:05.45 20016. Ausra Pacebutaite 2:05.61 20037. Suzanne Starkey 2:05.93 20019. Ashleigh Thomas 2:07.87 2003

100 BUTTERFLY1. Suzanne Starkey 55.76 20033. Naya Higashijima 56.46 20014. Christina Kinney 56.61 200310. Monika Miroslaw 58.96 2003

200 BUTTERFLY1. Naya Higashijima 1:57.72 20022. Monika Miroslaw 2:03.66 20033. Suzanne Starkey 2:04.54 20025. Christina Kinney 2:06.56 2003100 BREASTSTROKE1. Birte Steven 1:01.68 20032. Paula Finlay 1:03.80 20033. Mari Embertson 1:05.90 2003

200 BREASTSTROKE1. Birte Steven 2:12.02 20032. Paula Finlay 2:16.61 20023. Mari Embertson 2:19.59 2003

200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY1. Birte Steven 2:03.62 20032. Paula Finlay 2:04.54 20023. Mari Embertson 2:06.13 20034. Christina Kinney 2:06.99 20035. Monika Miroslaw 2:07.52 20039. Jessie Hong 2:08.39 200210. Naya Higashijima 2:08.40 2002

400 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY1. Naya Higashijima 4:18.98 20022. Mari Embertson 4:20.23 20023. Birte Steven 4:21.54 20024. Monika Miroslaw 4:23.40 20035. Leah Schaab 4:25.77 20037. Paula Finlay 4:28.30 20018. Jessie Hong 4:28.31 20029. Christina Kinney 4:30.19 2003

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