After Fine-Tuning At Alumni Meet, Swimming Heads To Salt Lake City For Two Meets With Utah

Oct. 25, 2000


Oregon State (1-1 overall, 0-0 Pacific-10) got the season started by turning in a strong opening double-dual meet on Oct. 21 against San Jose State and Pacific. The Beavers beat the Spartans 178-116 and overcame a 32-point handicap due to the fact that SJSU fielded a dive team, OSU lost to Pacific 151-111. OSU's Naya Higashijima broke her own school record in the 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 10:16.57 and freshman Birte Steven set school records in the 100 breaststroke (1:03.23) and 200 breaststroke (2:17.29).

'I was very pleased with the way we performed last weekend,' OSU head coach Mariusz Podkoscielny said. 'There are some areas in which we need to improve, but overall it was probably one of the best first meets we've had.

'Birte stands out because of her performance, as well as Naya Higashijima, who had an awesome meet. Arianna Higuera and Paula Finlay were also very solid and showed a lot of improvement over last year, they looked strong. Bonnie Renwick had a great 100 fly. A lot of people had good meets, so I don't want to leave anyone out. It was a team effort, when you go into a dual meet, you can't do it with one swimmer.

'Breaking three school records took us a little by surprise, especially this early in the season,' Podkoscielny said.

The swimmers will look to hone the technical aspects of their racing before their meet with the Utes.

'We need to work on little things like dive turns,' Podkoscielny said. 'We've had problems with that, especially in the sprint events. Those are the technical things that come with more racing and more experience throughout the season.'

OSU will host its annual alumni meet on Saturday, Oct. 28 in Stevens Natatorium in Corvallis at 9 a.m. After that, the Beavers have five days to prepare for their meets with Utah on Nov. 3 and 4.

The Utes should prove to be a good early-season test, according to Podkoscielny.

'Utah is going to be a challenge for us,' Podkoscielny said. 'They have a good team. We beat them last year, but they were swimming without some of their best athletes. They have some quality athletes on the team as well as an All-American that went to the NCAAs.

'Also, we're going to be swimming at a high altitude,' Podkoscielny continued. 'The girls are not used to swimming at a high altitude, so that will take its toll. We're going to be swimming on consecutive days, so I expect the second meet to be a lot tougher than the first one.

'We'll be going into both meets with Utah diving against us, so it depends on how many divers they have as to whether we start 26 or 32 points in the hole.'

OSU needs to continue to earn second, third, and fourth-place points as well as winning races to be successful this season.

'In our win against San Jose State, it was the wins that put us over the top, but we couldn't have done it without the second, third, and fourth-place finishes. Those all earn points.

'I think against Utah, it will be even more important that we score more than just first or second places. We also need to win the close races for fourth and fifth.

'We're looking forward to the Utah meet, it's going to be a good one.'

HEAD COACH MARIUSZ PODKOSCIELNY: Mariusz Podkoscielny enters his fifth season as head coach at Oregon State. In his first four years, OSU had a dual meet record of 14-25 overall and 2-11 in the Pacific-10. Podkoscielny, 32, 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 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.

OSU VS. UTAH IN 1999-2000: The Beavers beat Utah last year by a score of 124-107 in Corvallis. Naya Higashijima set school records in the 200 butterfly and in the 1,000 freestyle, while Paula Finlay set a school record in the 100 breaststroke.

Oregon State won seven of 13 events against the Utes.

STEVENS NATATORIUM: For the first time in 20 years, Oregon State scheduled all its home swim meets on campus last year as the Beavers moved into Stevens Natatorium. Oregon State will swim all four of its home meets in Stevens Natatorium agains this year. OSU had a 3-1 dual meet record in its new home last 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 this 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'S BEST DUAL MARK SINCE ... : Oregon State's 7-3 dual meet record last season gave the Beavers their first winning season since going 7-4 in 1991. The last time OSU won more than 7 dual meets in a season was 1983, when OSU finished 8-2. The Beavers' .700 winning percentage in dual meets was Oregon State's highest since a .750 mark while going 6-2 in 1990.

The Beavers are 1-1 this season.

OREGON STATE SCHOOL RECORDS: Oregon State set three school records in its first double-dual meet of the season. Naya Higashijima broke her own school record in the 1,000-yard freestyle, and freshman Birta Steven set OSU records in the 100 and 200-yard breaststroke. Here is a look at school records that have been set so far this season:

1,000 freestyle 	Naya Higashijima	10:16.57, Oct. 21 at. San Jose St100 breaststroke	Birte Steven	         1:03.23, Oct. 21 at San Jose State200 breaststroke	Birte Steven	         2:17.29, Oct. 21 at San Jose State

OREGON STATE EVENT WINNERS: Here is a look at the event- winners so far in the 2000-2001 dual meet season:(Wins while swimming as an exhibtion entry are inparentheses, those wins are not included in total)

1. Naya Higashijima	52. Birte Steven	        53. Erin Buckley	        14. Suzanne Starkey	15. Arianna Higuera	16. Paula Finlay	        1

BEAVERS' PLACES ON SCHOOL TOP-10 LISTS: After one double-dual meet, the 2000-2001 Oregon State team held 53 of the 140 places on the school's lists of the top 10 performers in each event.

Here are the members of the 2000-2001 Beavers with the most entries on the school's all-time leader lists.

1. Naya Higashijima	72. Paula Finlay	        63. Arianna Higuera	54. Sarah Cohen	        4(tie) Amy Imwalle	4(tie) Bonnie Renwick	4(tie) Kristen Severance	4(tie) Erica Stephens	4

TOP 10 PERFORMERS: Here are OSU's school records and where members of the 2000-2001 Beavers (listed in bold type) rank on the school's top-10 lists through Oct. 24:

50 FREESTYLE1. Amy van Loben Sels	23.11	19944. Arianna Higuera	23.99	20006. Bonnie Renwick	24.42	19999. Erin Buckley	        24.57	1998100 FREESTYLE1. Amy van Loben Sels	50.64	19955. Arianna Higuera	52.31	19997. Bonnie Renwick	53.19	20009. Trista Hedlind	53.25	2000200 FREESTYLE1. Traci Lamoure	1:50.91	19983. Naya Higashijima	1:52.89	20004. Melissa Hsieh	1:54.28	19985. Arianna Higuera	1:54.57	20007. Paula Finlay	        1:54.99	20008. Amy Imwalle	        1:55.12	19999. Erin Buckley 	1:55.19	199810. Trista Hedlind	1:55.52	2000500 FREESTYLE1. Naya Higashijima	4:54.99	20006. Amy Imwalle  	5:06.95	19999. Jill Personius	5:10.63	20001,000 FREESTYLE1. Naya Higashijima	10:19.63	20004. Jill McMinn	        10:38.50	20005. Amy Imwalle  	10:43.96	19991,650 FREESTYLE1. Naya Higashijima	16:55.87	20004. Amy Imwalle  	17:28.21	19997. Jill McMinn  	17:51.30	2000100 BACKSTROKE1. Tori Eisenbeis	57.23	19956. Suzanne Starkey	58.56	2000200 BACKSTROKE1. Christy Ryerson	2:03.41	19945. Paula Finlay	        2:07.77	20017. Suzanne Starkey	2:08.73	2000100 BUTTERFLY1. Kristin Martinec	57.20	19992. Naya Higashijima	57.88	20003. Melissa Hsieh	58.03	19984. Bonnie Renwick	58.12	19999. Arianna Higuera	59.31	1999200 BUTTERFLY1. Naya Higashijima	2:01.96	20003. Melissa Hsieh	2:07.67	19985. Kristin Martinec	2:09.34	199910. Jill McMinn	        2:11.28	2000100 BREASTSTROKE1. Birte Steven	        1:03.23	20012. Paula Finlay 	1:04.39	20003. Kristen Severance	1:06.45	20007. Sheila Tehranchi	1:07.35	19999. Sarah Cohen  	1:07.81	1999200 BREASTSTROKE1. Birte Steven	        2:17.29	20012. Paula Finlay	        2:20.09	20004. Sarah Cohen	        2:21.70	19995. Kristen Severance	2:22.78	20007. Sheila Tehranchi	2:23.93	2000200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY1. Paula Finlay	        2:05.46	20003. Arianna Higuera	2:08.10	19996. Sarah  Cohen	        2:10.96	19997. Kristen Severance	2:10.97	19998. Bonnie Renwick	2:11.20	2000400 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY1. Erica Stephens	4:28.16	19982. Birta Steven	        4:29.86	20014. Sarah Cohen	        4:34.82	19996. Paula Finlay	        4:35.01	20008. Naya Higashijima	4:35.85	200010. Sheila Tehranchi	4:41.33	1999

BEAVER SPORTS INFORMATION: Oregon State women's swimming sports information director Travis Lahman can be reached at (541) 737-3720. OSU women's swimming information is also on the athletic department website at

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