OSU Off To Speedo Cup

Nov. 18, 2003

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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 20-SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 22Oregon State at Speedo Cup; Long Beach, Calif., All Day

Oregon State travels to Southern California this week to finish the first half of its season at the Speedo Cup in Long Beach, Calif. The Beavers (2-2 overall, 0-1 Pacific-10) are on a two-meet win streak and are looking to improve this weekend before their annual winter training trip to Hawai'i in December.

'The meet should be very competitive,' OSU head coach Larry Liebowitz said. 'In swimming you have meets where you are shaved and unshaved. Shaved meets are the most important - and the Speedo Cup is one of those.'

It's one of the meets where the Beavers will aim for some of their best times of the season, getting out the razors to feel sleeker in the water and cut off even the last one-hundredth of a second possible.

'We are just looking for our best times,' Liebowitz said. 'And as long as we continue to do so, we will be making the progress we need. The girls are training hard, and more importantly, training smart.'

There will be approximately 350 women and 210 men from 23 schools competing in the Speedo Cup, which is hosted by California-Irvine. The meet consists of preliminary heats and finals races, so OSU swimmers advancing to consolation or championship finals will be competing twice in a day.

The three-day format is the same one used during the Pacific-10 Championships and the NCAA Championships. This weekend's meet will also give the Beavers a look at the Belmont Plaza Pool, which will be the site of the Pac-10 Championships later this season.

The swimmers will be looking for their season bests before a short break in the prelude to January and February dual meets and the Pac-10 Championships in late February.

The swimmers gained an impressive win over previously-unbeaten Nevada on Nov. 7. Garnering several first place finishes, the Beavers also secured multiple second- and third-place finishes for a 167-127 win, despite the lack of a diving squad.. Looking at the improvement in finishing times and splits, Liebowitz noted that Oregon State needs all its swimmers to step up in the Speedo Cup.

'This meet will be a really big step for the rest of the year,' Liebowitz said.

OREGON STATE AT THE SPEEDO CUP: Oregon State has been competing at the Speedo Cup since the 1994-95 season, but did not go to the meet last season. The highest finishes for the Beavers were second place out of 21 teams in both 1998-99 and 2001-02. OSU also placed in the top five in four consecutive seasons (1998-99 through 2001-02) and has finished in the top 10 in 6 of the 8 years it has gone to the Speedo Cup.

OREGON STATE'S LAST MEET: Oregon State ended Nevada's 14-dual meet win streak with a 167-127 non-league victory on Nov. 7 at the Wolfpack's Lombardi Pool. Senior All-American Birte Steven and sophomore Ausra Pacebutaite both won multiple events for the Beavers, whose win early last season in Corvallis had been the last loss for Nevada. The Wolfpack had won its final 7 duals last season and its first 7 this season.

Steven won the 100- and 200-yard breaststrokes and the 200 individual medley while Pacebutaite took the 100 and 200 backstrokes for OSU, which won despite starting the meet with a 32-point deficit. The Wolfpack picked up those points in the 2 diving events; the Beavers do not field a diving squad.

Also winning events for Oregon State were junior Kristin Huston in the 50 freestyle; sophomores Kristi Kuhlmey in the 1,000 freestyle, Monika Miroslaw in the 200 butterfly, and Christina Kinney in the 100 butterfly; and freshman Sandy Hong in the 500 freestyle.

The Beavers also won the 200 medley relay with the team of Pacebutaite, Steven, Christina Kinney and Huston. The Wolfpack was disqualified in the 400 freestyle relay, which gave the OSU team of Sandy Hong, Brie Marhenke, Danielle Kinney and Kuhlmey the victory.

Pacebutaite's 2 wins give her sole possession of 15th place on OSU's list of Pac-10 era event winners with 14. Steven pushed her career win total to 80; she has 9 wins this season.

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 80 first-place finishes in dual meet and invitational competition in her career at OSU, including 9 wins this season plus 1 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 2000-03.

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 eighth-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 5-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 9 wins. A look at Beaver victory leaders for the 2003-04 season through Nov. 7 (exhibition wins in parentheses, and not included in total):

1. Birte Steven (1)	92. Kristin Huston	63. Ausra Pacebutaite	54. Sandy Hong	4(tie) Christina Kinney (1)	45. Monika Miroslaw	26. Mari Embertson	1(tie) Kristi Kuhlmey	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 Nov. 7:

1. Naya Higashijima, 2000-03	104> 2. Birte Steven, 2001-present	 80  5. Kristin Huston, 2002-present	34 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	16>15. Ausra Pacebutaite, 2003-present	14  Kristi Kuhlmey, 2003-present	9  Christina Kinney, 2002-present	6  Sandy Hong, 2004-present	4  Monika Miroslaw, 2003-present	4  Mari Embertson, 2002-present	3  Jessie Hong, 2002-present	2 

BEAVERS' PLACES ON SCHOOL TOP-10 LISTS: Members of OSU's 2003-2004 squad enter the season holding 42 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 Nov. 7:

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	48. Ausra Pacebutaite	39. Jessie Hong	2(tie) 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 Nov.7:

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