Beavers Visit WSU For Two

Jan. 28, 2004

FRIDAY, JANUARY 30Oregon State at Washington State; Pullman, Wash.; 7 p.m.SATURDAY, JANUARY 31Oregon State at Washington State; Pullman, Wash.; 11 a.m.

Oregon State spends the final two weeks of the women's swimming regular season renewing its Pacific Northwest rivalries, and that starts when the Beavers (5-3 overall, 0-1 Pacific-10) travel to Washington State (1-6, 0-3) for Pacfic-10 meets on Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 11 a.m. at Gibb Pool.

'This is a good time of the year - the best time of the year,' OSU head coach Larry Liebowitz said. 'Because you're trying to really get turned up - you want to be real competitive and so does everyone else. Everyone is trying to beat someone they haven't beaten before, or to go a time that they haven't gone when they're unrested.

'If we stay in there, keep believing and keep supporting each other, we should finish up well in the dual meets and at the Pacific-10 Championships.'

What the Beavers will be looking for this weekend - along with a pair of wins - is to be swimming the proper split times in the races they're likely to swim at the Pac-10 meet.

'That's the important thing right now - to follow the right patterns on splitting the races,' Liebowitz said. 'If you're doing that properly, then you know that with enough rest (before the Pac-10 meet) that they'll go a lot faster.

'We need to see where they are and how they're performing in their good races. By watching the results of this meet and the meet against Washington (at home on Feb. 7), we know how to fine-tune their training for the last three weeks as we head into the conference meet.'

Heading into last weekend's win at Fresno State, the Beavers' Birte Steven continued to have the season's fastest time in the 200-yard breaststroke among all NCAA Division I women at 2 minutes, 9.98 seconds; that was more than a full second faster than the next-best time in the nation. A quick check of last weekend's results from some of the nation's top contenders don't show anyone besting Steven's mark.

Steven, a five-time All-American, also had the third-fastest time in the 100 breaststroke at 1:00.64 and the 29th-fastest time in the 200 individual medley (2:02.47).

Other Beavers on the list of national leaders were Mari Embertson, 16th in the 400 individual medley (4:17.70); Ausra Pacebutaite, 28th in the 100 backstroke (55.78) and 42nd in the 200 backstroke (2:01.65); Christina Kinney, 34th in the 200 butterfly (2:01.14); Kristin Huston, tied for 37th in the 50 freestyle (23.30); and Monika Miroslaw, 40th in the 200 butterfly (2:01.46).

Oregon State's relay teams ranked 18th in the 200 medley (1:43.60) and 400 medley (3:467.54), 31st in the 200 freestyle (1:35.11) and 34th in the 800 freestyle (7:33.68).

Washington State was at home last week, losing to Nevada 138-122 in a non-league dual. Cougar freshman Monika Povilonyte was a double-winner for WSU, winning the 100 and 200 breaststrokes. The Beavers beat the Wolfpack earlier this season 167-127 in Reno.

OREGON STATE ALL-TIME VS. THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT: Oregon State has an all-time record of 11-26 against Washington State in a dual meet series dating back to 1978. Last season, OSU won by scores of 100-78 and 102-84 in Corvallis. WSU's last win was in 2002, when the Cougars swept both meets by scores of 159-103 and 113-90 in Pullman.

OREGON STATE'S LAST MEET: Oregon State swimmers won all 16 events on to defeat Fresno State 201-59 on Jan. 24 in Fresno. The Beavers extended their dual meet winning streak over the Bulldogs to four. Birte Steven, a senior 5-time All-American, won all 3 of her individual events; touching the wall first in the 1,000-yard freestyle, 100 breaststroke, and 100 freestyle. Her time in the 1,000 freestyle is a personal best, rewriting her fourth place standing in the OSU all-time record books. She now has 93 event victories in her career, only 11 behind undergraduate assistant coach Naya Higashijima's record number of wins for the Pac-10 era. Also winning her 3 individual events was junior Kristin Huston in the 100 backstroke, 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly. Her career win total is now at 45, closing in on fourth-place Tammy Scott on the school's list of Pac-10 era victory leaders. Other multiple event winners included sophomore Leah Schaab in the 200 butterfly and 400 individual medley and freshman Sandy Hong in the 200 and 500 freestyles. Rounding out the winners' circle were junior Mari Embertson in the 200 breaststroke and sophomore Ashleigh Thomas in the 200 backstroke; and the relay teams of sophomore Ausra Pacebutaite, Embertson, sophomore Christina Kinney, and freshman Brie Marhenke in the 400 medley; and Pacebutaite, Huston, Steven and Marhenke in the 400 freestyle. The Beavers took a slightly different approach to the meet, putting swimmers in events they don't normally swim to present them with a new challenge.

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 93 first-place finishes in dual meet and invitational competition in her career at OSU, including 22 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 in 2003.

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. After winning its first home meet this season, 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 22 wins. A look at Beaver victory leaders for the 2003-04 season through Jan. 24 (exhibition wins in parentheses, and not included in total):

1. Birte Steven (1)	222. Kristin Huston	163. Sandy Hong	104. Ausra Pacebutaite	75. Christina Kinney (1)	56. Mari Embertson	47. Monika Miroslaw	2(tie) Leah Schaab	29. Kristi Kuhlmey	1(tie) Ashleigh Thomas	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 Jan. 24:

1. Naya Higashijima, 2000-03	104> 2. Birte Steven, 2001-present	 93  5. Kristin Huston, 2002-present	45 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>(tie) Ausra Pacebutaite, 2003-present	16  Sandy Hong, 2004-present	10  Kristi Kuhlmey, 2003-present	9  Christina Kinney, 2002-present	7  Mari Embertson, 2002-present	6  Monika Miroslaw, 2003-present	4  Jessie Hong, 2002-present	2  Leah Schaab, 2003-present	2  Ashleigh Thomas, 2003-present	1 

BEAVERS' PLACES ON SCHOOL TOP-10 LISTS: Members of OSU's 2003-2004 squad hold 50 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 Jan. 24:

1. Birte Steven	72. Christina Kinney	63. Mari Embertson	5(tie) Ausra Pacebutaite	53. Sandy Hong	4(tie) Kristin Huston	4(tie) Kristi Kuhlmey	4(tie) Monika Miroslaw	49. Danielle Kinney	3(tie) Leah Schaab	311. Jessie Hong	2(tie) Ashleigh Thomas	213. Brie Marhenke	1

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 Jan. 24:

50 FREESTYLE1. Amy van Loben Sels	23.11	19942. Kristin Huston	23.30	20044. Ausra Pacebutaite	23.74	20049. Brie Marhenke	24.20	2004100 FREESTYLE1. Amy van Loben Sels	50.64	19952. Kristin Huston	50.98	20025. Ausra Pacebutaite	51.99	20049. Birte Steven	52.61	2004200 FREESTYLE1. Kristin Huston	1:50.61	20022. Birte Steven	1:50.77	20044. Kristi Kuhlmey	1:51.72	20038. Mari Embertson	1:53.80	20049. Sandy Hong	1:53.86	200410. Christina Kinney	1:54.07	2004500 FREESTYLE1. Naya Higashijima	4:50.76	20032. Kristi Kuhlmey	4:57.61	20033. Sandy Hong	4:59.33	20048. Danielle Kinney	5:02.48	20039. Christina Kinney	5:03.38	20041,000 FREESTYLE1. Naya Higashijima	9:56.74	20032. Kristi Kuhlmey	10:15.57	20033. Sandy Hong	10:16.40	20044. Birte Steven	10:16.49	20049. Danielle Kinney	10:33.89	20031,650 FREESTYLE1. Naya Higashijima	16:27.59	20032. Kristi Kuhlmey	16:56.30	20033. Sandy Hong	17:03.15	20048. Danielle Kinney	17:22.84	2003100 BACKSTROKE1. Ausra Pacebutaite	55.78	20049. Kristin Huston	58.75	200410. Ashleigh Thomas	1:00.04	2003200 BACKSTROKE1. Ausra Pacebutaite	2:01.65	20043. (tie) Jessie Hong	2:04.55	20037. Ashleigh Thomas	2:05.89	2003100 BUTTERFLY1. Suzanne Starkey	55.09	20033. Christina Kinney	56.39	20036. Monika Miroslaw	57.63	20048. Ausra Pacebutaite	58.21	2004200 BUTTERFLY1. Naya Higashijima	1:57.42	20032. Christina Kinney	2:01.14	20043. Monika Miroslaw	2:01.46	20048. Leah Schaab	2:07.83	2003100 BREASTSTROKE1. Birte Steven	1:00.68	20043. Mari Embertson	1:04.21	2004200 BREASTSTROKE1. Birte Steven	2:09.96	20033. Mari Embertson	2:17.52	2003200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY1. Birte Steven	2:01.98	20032. Mari Embertson	2:03.78	20044. Christina Kinney	2:04.60	20036. Monika Miroslaw	2:06.81	20038. Leah Schaab	2:07.99	2003400 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY1. Mari Embertson	4:17.70	20043. 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
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