Beavers Travel to Federal Way for Pacific-10 Championships

Feb. 22, 2005

Corvallis, Ore. -

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Federal Way, Wash. February 23-26Wednesday Finals 6 p.m.Thursday Prelims 11 a.m.Thursday Finals 6 p.m.Friday Prelims 11 a.m.Friday Finals 6 p.m.Saturday Prelims 11 a.m.Saturday Finals 6 p.m.

Oregon State travels to Federal Way, Wash. this week to participate in the Pacific-10 Championships. The Beavers (6-6 overall duals, 1-5 Pacific-10) will try to improve on their performance from last year and qualify more swimmers for the NCAA tournament. The action begins tomorrow at 6 p.m. with the Women's 200 Medley Relay and 800 freestyle relay.

The long standing goal for the Beavers this year has been to qualify a relay for the NCAA Championships. Taking a relay team to the NCAA Championships both takes more people to the event and scores more points than an individual event. Qualifying a relay coupled with a few superb personal performances could propel Oregon State to new heights in success.

Several swimmers are ready to answer the call to step up. Starting with OSU's only swimming All-American, Mari Embertson. Embertson finished 4th in the 400 individual medley at last years event and looks to repeat her performance from last year. Freshman phenom Courtney Eads also looks ready to take her swimming to the next level. Eads already has several times in the top 50 nationally. Most notably, her 500 freestyle time of 4:45.91ranks 7th nationally and 2nd in the Pac-10. In the 200 butterfly Eads ranks 18th in the country and 5th in the Pac-10 with her time of 2:00.36. Junior backstroker Ausra Pacebutaite also looks poised to take her swimming to the next level. So far this season she has recorded personal bests in both the 100 and 200 backstroke. Her personal bests also represent school records in the events. Currently Pacebutaite's times rank 28th and 41st nationally in her two individual events.

College Quick 50 OREGON STATE SWIMMERS IN THE TOP 50: Several Oregon State swimmers are among the top 50 in various events so far this season, as compiled by Stu Corliss of Taper and Shave through Feb 15:

In the 200 freestyle, freshman Courtney Eads ranks 48th with her time of 1:49.43. Eads also ranks seventh in the 500 freestyle with her time of 4:45.91 and 20th in the 200 butterfly with a time of 2.00:36. In the 100 backstroke, junior Ausra Pacebutaite ranks 28rd with her time 55.58. Pacebutaite also has a top time in the 200 backstroke with her school record time of 2:01.01, which is good enough to place her 41th so far this season. Freshman Felicia Castaneda ranks 36nd in the 100 breaststroke with her time of 1:03.50. Erika Wirth ranks 50th in the 100 butterfly with her time 55.80. In the 200 butterfly, Monica Miroslaw has the 31st-fastest time at 2:01.48. The Beavers' only All-American, Mari Embertson ranks 42nd in the 400 individual medley with a time of 4:21.78.

The OSU relays have been a focal point for the team this year and they have been performing up to national standards. Several of the relays rank in the top 20 of the College Quick 50. In the 200 freestyle relay, the Beavers rank 19th with a time of 1:33.77. In the 400 freestyle relay, the Beavers rank 17th with a time of 3:24.27. The Beavers time of 7:30.56 is good enough for 28th in the 800 freestyle relay. In the medley relays, the Beavers rank 23th in the 200 with a time of 1:43.64 and 18th in the 400 with a time of 3:46.11.

The History OREGON STATE ALL-TIME AT THE PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS: Due to not having a Diving squad, Oregon State is at a great scoring disadvantage each year. The highest a team can finish without divers is 7th place. So, each year Washington State, Washington, and Oregon State fight it out over the last three places in the Pac-10. Oregon State has finished 9th nine times, 8th six times, and 7th three times.

Not so long ago LAST YEAR AT THE PAC-10's: Oregon State used a strong finish to place seventh in the team standings at the Pacific-10 Championships. Stanford edged UCLA for the team championship.

Birte Steven placed second in the 200-yard breaststroke, the highest finish ever for an OSU swimmer at the Pac-10 meet, and was also fourth in the 100 breaststroke. Other Beavers making the championship finals were Mari Embertson, who placed fourth in the 400 individual medley; and Kristin Huston, who tied for sixth in the 50 freestyle.

Also scoring in individual events for the Beavers were Embertson (200 breast, 10th), Steven (200 IM, 16th), Ausra Pacebutaite (100 back, 13th; 200 back, 16th), Christina Kinney (100 fly, 14th; 200 fly, 17th), Monika Miroslaw (200 fly, 14th; 400 IM, 20th), Sandy Hong (1,650 free, 19th), Huston (100free, 21st; 200 free, 24th), Kristi Kuhlmey (1,650 free, 22nd), Brie Marhenke (50 free,22nd), Leah Schaab (400 IM, 23rd; 200 breast, 24th) and Danielle Kinney (1,650 free, 24th).

Leading the way HEAD COACH Larry Liebowitz: Liebowitz, who has extensive international and club coaching experience, spent the last 8 seasons as assistant head coach for the women's and men's programs at Southern California before coming to Oregon State in the summer of 2003. He is in his second season as OSU's head coach.

In Liebowitz's first season at Oregon State, the Beavers had their best-ever showing at the NCAA Championships by placing 20th and matched their best-ever finish at the Pacific-10 Championships by placing seventh. OSU is now 9-6 in dual meets under Liebowitz; the Beavers had a 7-4 dual record during Liebowitz's debut season at Oregon State.

In 2002-03, 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.

Even Stevens STEVENS NATATORIUM: Oregon State swims its home meets at Stevens Natatorium on the OSU campus. OSU has an all-time record of 13-5 in the pool after going 1-1 there during the 2003-04 season.

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.

Proper seasoning OREGON STATE 2004-05 WINS ON ALL-TIME LIST: Several 2004-05 Oregon State swimmers have recorded enough wins in a season to gain a place on OSU's top 25 of single-season event winners in the Pacific-10 era (1987 to present). Here is the list through Feb. 22(current OSU swimmers in bold type):1. Naya Higashijima, 2003 312. Naya Higashijima, 2002 303. Birte Steven, 2003 28(tie) Birte Steven, 2004 285. Courtney Eads, 2005 256. Naya Higashijima, 2001 247. Amy van Loben Sels, 1994 238. Birte Steven, 2002 229. Birte Steven, 2001 21(tie) Amy van Loben Sels, 1995 21(tie) Kristin Huston, 2004 2112. Naya Higashijima, 2000 1913. Tammy Scott, 1988 1714. Paula Finlay, 2000 15(tie) Kristin Huston, 2003 15(tie) Lisa van Loben Sels, 1991 1517. Tammy Scott, 1991 14(tie) Kristin Huston, 2005 1419. Paula Finlay, 2001 13(tie) Kristin Huston, 2002 13(tie) Christy Ryerson, 1994 1322. Sandy Hong, 2004 1223. Kelly Kaplan, 1988 1124. Traci Lamoure, 1995 10(tie) Traci Lamoure, 1996 10(tie) Sue Maxwell, 1988 10(tie) Christy Ryerson, 1993 10(tie) Suzanne Starkey, 2003 10(tie) Monee Williamson, 1994 10(tie) Andrea Ziemer, 1988 10(tie) Ausra Pacebutaite, 2004 10

Climbing the ladder BEAVERS' PLACES ON SCHOOL WIN LISTS: Several current Oregon State swimmers are on OSU's career list of dual meet event winners in the Pac-10 era (1987 to present). A look at the top 15 for OSU in career event wins and current OSU swimmers closing in on the list through Feb. 22 (current OSU swimmers in bold type):1. Naya Higashijima, 2000-03 1042. Birte Steven, 2001-2004 99> 3. Kristin Huston, 2002-present 60 Paula Finlay, 2000-03 31(tie) Traci Lamoure, 1994-98 31> 9. Courtney Eads, 2005-present 25 10. Ausra Pacebutaite, 2003-present 24 Arianna Higuera, 1998-01 2114. Sue Maxwell, 1987-90 19(tie) Suzanne Starkey, 2000-03 19> Sandy Hong, 2004-present 18

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