Beavers Face Challenge At Nevada
Nov. 5, 2003
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 7Oregon State at Nevada; Reno, Nev.; 2 p.m.
Oregon State will look to snap Nevada's 14-dual meet win streak on Friday when the Beavers hop into the Wolfpack's Lombardi Pool. The Beavers (1-2 overall, 0-1 Pacific-10) are currently on a three-meet win streak in the series against the Wolfpack (7-0 overall, 2-0 Western Athletic), and OSU's 141.5-115.5 win in Corvallis last season was Nevada's last loss. The Wolfpack won seven straight to end the 2002-03 season and has opened the 2003-04 season with seven more wins.
'It's going to be a really hard meet,' OSU head coach Larry Liebowitz said. 'We start off 32 points behind automatically because they have diving, and they are on a roll. Overcoming that big lead they'll walk in there with will be difficult.'
With a strong performance in beating San Jose State 141-99 two weeks ago, Liebowitz has seen even more improvement in his swimmers.
'We run test sets on the girls, and they keep improving,' Liebowitz said. 'All the indications are saying we should be swimming better than we have, and that we should swim very well at this meet.'
The Beavers are coming off a bye week, highlighted by the annual Alumni Meet last Saturday. The bye week served as a good chance for the swimmers to rest from their two previous dual meets and gear up for the upcoming battle against the Wolfpack.
However, no one swimmer is more important in this meet. Liebowitz noted that just one point earned by one swimmer can be the difference, be it a win or a loss. With several swimmers earning multiple wins in each meet thus far, Liebowitz also said that a stronger overall performance is necessary.
More performances like Sandy Hong's versus San Jose State would be welcomed. Hong swam a season-best in the 1,000-yard freestyle, then dove back into the pool for a second-place finish in the 200 freestyle in the next event. A week prior to that, the Beavers won eight of 14 events against California-Santa Barbara, but weren't able to pick up the necessary second- through fifth-place points in a 132-108 loss.
'I'm impressed with how our team remains supportive of each other,' Liebowitz said. 'This meet should be successful for us.'
Nevada is 27-3 over the past three seasons and 38-7 overall after current head coach Mike Shrader took over in the 1999-00 season. The Wolfpack opened this season with a bang, getting road wins at California-Davis, a double-dual win over San Jose State and Washington State, and a win at Fresno State. They remained victorious over San Diego and at another double-dual over Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine.
OREGON STATE-NEVADA SERIES: Oregon State has an all-time record of 4-7-0 against Nevada in a dual meet series dating back to 1980, but the Beavers have won the last three meetings. Last season, OSU won 141.5-115.5. Nevada's last win in the series was in 1999 in Reno by a 111-27 score, and that meet was the last in a string of seven straight wins in the series by the Wolfpack. OSU won the inaugural meeting in 1980.
OREGON STATE'S LAST MEET: Oregon State gave first-year head coach Larry Liebowitz his first collegiate victory on Oct. 25 as the Beavers beat San Jose State 141-99 in a non-league dual meet at Stevens Natatorium. It was OSU's fifth straight home victory, the longest home winning streak for the Beavers since taking eight in a row over the 1979-80 and 1980-81 seasons.
'I've very happy to win my first collegiate meet as a head coach - that means a lot to me, and I was glad to do that,' said Liebowitz, who spent the past eight seasons as assistant head coach at Southern California. 'We swam well. In some cases, people I thought hadn't been as good in the first meet swam a lot better here.'
The Beavers had the fastest time in all 14 events on the day, but in the final three events all of OSU's competitors swam as non-scoring exhibition entrants against the Spartans (0-3, 0-1 Big West).
Winning two events each for Oregon State were senior All-American Birte Steven (200-yard freestyle, 100 breaststroke), junior Kristin Huston (50 freestyle, 100 freestyle), sophomore Ausra Pacebutaite (100 backstroke, 200 backstroke) and freshman Sandy Hong (1,000 freestyle, 500 freestyle). Other event winners for the Beavers included Christina Kinney (200 butterfly), Mari Embertson (200 breaststroke) and the 400 medley relay team of Pacebutaite, Embertson, Christina Kinney and Huston.
Hong also placed second in the 200 freestyle; that race came just moments after she finished her victory in the 1,000 freestyle.
'Sandy Hong's double was quite impressive, ' Liebowitz said. 'She had her best time of the year in the 1,000 freestyle (10:18.08), and then she stepped right back up there for the 200.'
HEAD COACH Larry Liebowitz: Liebowitz, who has extensive international and club coaching experience, spent the last eight seasons as assistant head coach for the women's and men's programs at Southern California. This season is his first as a collegiate head coach.
Last season, Liebowitz helped guide the USC women to third-place finishes in the NCAA Championships and the Pacific-10 Championships. The Trojan men's team was third in the Pac-10 and fifth at the NCAAs.
Liebowitz, 53, served as an assistant coach for the U.S. men's team at the 1999 Pan American Games and was also an assistant coach at the 1997 World University Games. He was coach of the United States men's team in the 1995 Pan Am Games and coach of the 1988 Costa Rica Olympic team.
SENIOR ALL-AMERICAN Birte Steven: Birte Steven is one of the most-decorated swimmers in Oregon State history, and she's looking to add to her accomplishments in her final season at OSU. The senior has earned All-America honors in each of her first 3 seasons with the Beavers and has a total of 5 All-America finishes; she's the only OSU swimmer to have reached those numbers.
Steven earned 2 All-America honors at the NCAA Championships for the second consecutive year in 2002-03, placing sixth in the 200 breaststroke and 11th in the 100 breaststroke. Steven's sixth-place finish was the best-ever for an OSU swimmer at the NCAAs.
In 2002, 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 at the 2002 NCAAs. As a freshman in 2001, she placed 16th at the NCAAs in the 200 breastroke.
Steven has 77 first-place finishes in dual meet and invitational competition in her career at OSU, including six wins this season plus one more win as an exhibition competitor. In the Pac-10 era, she trails only Naya Higashijima on OSU's win list; Higashijima had 104 wins from 2000-2003.
This past May, Steven qualified for the University World Games as a member of the German National Team. Steven competed in the 100- and 200-meter breaststrokes at the Games, and her time in the 200 breaststroke was the eight-best in the world this year.
Steven was honored as the OSU Female Athlete of the Year for 2002-03 school year at the OSU athletic department's annual Benny Awards in June.
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 last season; it was the first time they had gone unbeaten for a season at Stevens Natatorium. OSU is currently on a five-meet home winning streak and has an all-time record of 13-4 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 EVENT WINNERS IN 2003-04: Birte Steven leads OSU swimmers in individual event victories this season with 4 wins. A look at Beaver victory leaders for the 2003-04 season through Oct. 25 (exhibition wins in parentheses, and not included in total):
1. Birte Steven (1) 62. Kristin Huston 53. Sandy Hong 3(tie) Christina Kinney (1) 3(tie) Ausra Pacebutaite 36. Mari Embertson 1(tie) Monika Miroslaw 1
BEAVERS' PLACES ON SCHOOL TOP-10 LISTS: Birte Steven is in second place on OSU's list of event winners in the Pac-10 era. A look at the top 15 for OSU in event wins since women's swimming became a Pac-10 sport for the 1986-87 season, and how far current Beavers need to go to join the list; numbers are through Oct. 25:
1. Naya Higashijima, 2000-03 104> 2. Birte Steven, 2001-present 77 5. Kristin Huston, 2002-present 33 Paula Finlay, 2000-03 31(tie) Traci Lamoure, 1994-98 319. Kelly Kaplan, 1988-91 2410. Arianna Higuera, 1998-01 2111. Christy Ryerson, 1991-94 2312. Sue Maxwell, 1987-90 1913. Suzanne Starkey, 2000-03 1914. Andrea Ziemer, 1987-90 1615. Tori Eisenbeis, 1991-95 12(tie) Heather Simmons, 1992-95 12> (tie) Ausra Pacebutaite, 2003-present 12 Kristi Kuhlmey, 2003-present 8 Christina Kinney, 2002-present 5 Mari Embertson, 2002-present 3 Sandy Hong, 2004-present 3 Jessie Hong, 2002-present 2 Monika Miroslaw, 2003-present 3
BEAVERS' PLACES ON SCHOOL TOP-10 LISTS: Members of OSU's 2003-2004 squad enter the season holding 44 of the 140 places on the list of the school's top 10 performers in each individual event. Current Beaver swimmers with entries on OSU's all-time leaders list through Oct. 25:1. Birte Steven 72. Mari Embertson 4(tie) Kristin Huston 4(tie) Christina Kinney 4(tie) Danielle Kinney 4(tie). Kristi Kuhlmey 4(tie) Monika Miroslaw 43. Jessie Hong 3(tie) Ausra Pacebutaite 34. Sandy Hong 2(tie) Leah Schaab 2(tie) Ashleigh Thomas 2
WHERE THE BEAVERS RANK ON SCHOOL LISTS: Here are OSU's school records and where members of the 2003-2004 Beavers (listed in bold type) rank on the school's individual top-10 list through Oct. 25:50 FREESTYLE1. Amy van Loben Sels 23.11 19942. Kristin Huston 23.40 20038. Ausra Pacebutaite 24.17 2003100 FREESTYLE1. Amy van Loben Sels 50.64 19952. Kristin Huston 50.98 2002200 FREESTYLE1. Kristin Huston 1:50.61 20023. Kristi Kuhlmey 1:51.72 20036. Birte Steven 1:52.57 200410. Danielle Kinney 1:54.54 2003500 FREESTYLE1. Naya Higashijima 4:50.76 20032. Kristi Kuhlmey 4:57.61 20037. Danielle Kinney 5:02.48 20038. Sandy Hong 5:03.60 200410. Birte Steven 5:05.31 20011,000 FREESTYLE1. Naya Higashijima 9:56.74 20032. Kristi Kuhlmey 10:15.57 20033. Birte Steven 10:17.60 20034. Sandy Hong 10:18.08 20049. Danielle Kinney 10:33.89 20031,650 FREESTYLE1. Naya Higashijima 16:27.59 20032. Kristi Kuhlmey 16:56.30 20037. Danielle Kinney 17:22.84 2003100 BACKSTROKE1. Suzanne Starkey 56.51 20032. Ausra Pacebutaite 57.02 20039. Kristin Huston 59.37 200210. Ashleigh Thomas 1:00.04 2003200 BACKSTROKE1. Ausra Pacebutaite 2:02.73 20033. Jessie Hong 2:04.55 20037. Ashleigh Thomas 2:05.89 2003100 BUTTERFLY1. Suzanne Starkey 55.09 20033. Christina Kinney 56.39 200310. Monika Miroslaw 58.96 2003200 BUTTERFLY1. Naya Higashijima 1:57.42 20032. Christina Kinney 2:02.43 20033. Monika Miroslaw 2:02.62 20038. Leah Schaab 2:07.83 2003100 BREASTSTROKE1. Birte Steven 1:01.39 20033. Mari Embertson 1:05.90 2003200 BREASTSTROKE1. Birte Steven 2:09.96 20033. Mari Embertson 2:17.52 2003200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY1. Birte Steven 2:01.98 20033. Christina Kinney 2:04.60 20034. Mari Embertson 2:05.31 20036. Monika Miroslaw 2:06.81 20038. Leah Schaab 2:07.99 2003400 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY1. Naya Higashijima 4:18.98 20022. Mari Embertson 4:20.11 20023. Birte Steven 4:21.54 20024. Monika Miroslaw 4:21.55 20035. Leah Schaab 4:25.70 20038. Jessie Hong 4:28.31 20029. Christina Kinney 4:30.19 2003
Individual and relay season bests
(If different, OSU career bests in parentheses)50 FREESTYLEKristin Huston (23.40, 2003) 24.28 Oct. 25Ausra Pacebutaite (24.17, 2003) 24.67 Oct. 10Brie Marhenke 25.57 Oct. 25Lynsey Foree 27.14 Oct. 25100 FREESTYLEKristin Huston (50.98, 2002) 53.30 Oct. 25Christina Kinney 54.40 Oct. 25Kristi Kuhlmey (53.71, 2003) 55.73 Oct. 10Brie Marhenke 56.34 Oct. 25Lynsey Foree 56.91 Oct. 25200 FREESTYLEBirte Steven 1:52.57 Oct. 25Kristin Huston (*1:50.61, 2002) 1:54.08 Oct. 10Danielle Kinney(1:54.18, 2003) 1:57.12 Oct. 10Sandy Hong 1:57.45 Oct. 25Jessie Hong 2:02.02 Oct. 10500 FREESTYLESandy Hong 5:03.60 Oct. 10Kristi Kuhlmey (4:57.61, 2003) 5:04.88 Oct. 10Danielle Kinney (5:02.48, 2003) 5:09.87 Oct. 251,000 FREESTYLESandy Hong 10:18.08 Oct. 25Kristi Kuhlmey (10:14.05, 2003) 10:25.56 Oct. 10Danielle Kinney 10:40.59 Oct. 25100 BACKSTROKEAusra Pacebutaite (57.02, 2003) 57.33 Oct. 10Ashleigh Thomas (1:00.04, 2003) 1:02.76 Oct. 10Brie Marhenke 1:03.61 Oct. 25Lynsey Foree (1:02.05, 2003) 1:04.33 Oct. 25200 BACKSTROKEAusra Pacebutaite (*2:02.73, 2003) 2:04.40 Oct. 10Ashleigh Thomas (2:05.89, 2003) 2:12.83 Oct. 10Jessie Hong (2:04.55, 2003) 2:17.57 Oct. 10Anna Zucker 2:32.58 Oct. 25100 BUTTERFLYChristina Kinney (56.39, 2003) 57.13 Oct. 10Monika Miroslaw (58.96, 2003) 1:00.16 Oct. 10Ashleigh Thomas (59.44, 2003) 1:03.57 Oct. 10Chelsea Keown 1:06.90 Oct. 25200 BUTTERFLYChristina Kinney (2:02.43, 2003) 2:03.92 Oct. 10Monika Miroslaw (2:02.62, 2003) 2:06.11 Oct. 10Danielle Kinney 2:11.28 Oct. 25100 BREASTSTROKEBirte Steven (*1:01.39, 2003) 1:03.15 Oct. 10Mari Embertson (1:05.90, 2003) 1:07.36 Oct. 10Leah Schaab (1:07.91, 2003) 1:11.30 Oct. 10Chelsea Keown 1:15.58 Oct. 25200 BREASTSTROKEBirte Steven (*2:09.96, 2003) 2:14.40 Oct. 10Mari Embertson (2:17.52, 2003) 2:21.06 Oct. 10Leah Schaab (2:25.18, 2003) 2:29.06 Oct. 10Chelsea Keown 2:41.64 Oct. 25400 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEYBirte Steven (4:21.54, 2002) 4:27.32 Oct. 25Mari Embertson (4:20.11, 2003) 4:30.54 Oct. 25Monika Miroslaw (4:21.55, 2003) 4:30.96 Oct. 10Jessie Hong (4:29.56, 2002) 4:58.10 Oct. 10200 FREESTYLE RELAYHuston, Marhenke, Pacebutaite, Steven 1:37.81 Oct. 25S. Hong, D. Kinney, Keown, Foree 1:44.55 Oct. 25400 FREESTYLE RELAYSteven, Kuhlmey, C. Kinney, Huston 3:32.13 Oct. 10D. Kinney, Marhenke, Jones, S. Hong 3:40.76 Oct. 10200 MEDLEY RELAYPacebutaite, Steven, C. Kinney, Marhenke 1:46.84 Oct. 10Foree, Schaab, Thomas, Jones 1:57.17 Oct. 10400 MEDLEY RELAYPacebutaite, Embertson, C. Kinney, Huston 3:57.20 Oct. 25* denotes school record