Swimming Primed For Speedo Cup After Win Over Nevada, Time Off

Nov. 27, 2000


With five dual meets done and a 3-2 record, the Oregon State women's swim team will take its show on the road to Long Beach, Calif., for the Speedo Cup Nov. 30 - Dec. 2. The Beavers will use the meet to see where they stack up against stiff competition as they prepare to make the stretch run toward the Pacific-10 and NCAA Championships in February and March.

'The true test is going to be once we get there,' head coach Mariusz Podkoscielny said. 'We've rested some swimmers a little bit, and some of them are going to shave, so you don't really know how it's going to go. You can't really evaluate how they're going to do until they actually get up on the blocks. So that's one of the reasons we go to this meet - so we can polish things off and figure out what adjustments we need to make going into the Pac-10s and NCAAs.'

So far this year, the squad has maintained its health, downed traditional nemesis Nevada in convincing fashion (156-106) and set four school records in the process - three by freshman Birte Steven.

Add to that momentum the fact that OSU has had roughly three weeks to rest and prepare for the Speedo Cup, and the Beavers' chances of coming home with their third consecutive top-three finish at the event look promising.

'We went through a speed phase,' Podkoscielny said of his team's practice over the last few weeks. 'We've done a little more speed work than in the past years. In the past week, we've been resting some swimmers, so that's probably the main difference between what we've done before and now. They're normally broken down, but now they won't be as tired - they should be fresher and more explosive, so that's going to be the biggest difference.

'Their attitude is good,' Podkoscielny continued. 'They're excited, they like that meet. In the past, we've traditionally done pretty well. It's a good competition and set-up for us at this time of year, so they really enjoy going there.'

The appearance of USC and UCLA will likely have a dramatic impact on how the meet plays out this year.

'This year is going to be a little more competitive because USC and UCLA are bringing their whole teams,' Podkoscielny said. 'That's going to make it a lot more competitive but, nevertheless, I think the competition is going to be very similar to what we've had in the past and our swimmers will know what to expect.

'It's going to be good for us to see USC and UCLA early in the season and see how we measure up against them in this part of the season.'

At 3-2 with six dual meets remaining, OSU has a shot at surpassing last year's dual meet mark of 7-3, which was its best since 1989-90. However, that pales in comparison to team's goals of improving at the Pac-10s and advancing swimmers to the NCAA Championships.

'Our focus isn't necessarily going to be on the dual meets because we want to finally make a move in the Pac-10 and we want to get swimmers to the NCAAs,' Podkoscielny said. 'We're also competing against tougher competition. We just added a meet that we're going to be swimming in Florida with the College of Charleston and Miami (to replace Clemson and Florida Atlantic). Miami is ranked in the top 25 in the nation, so they're going to be tough competition.'

HEAD COACH MARIUSZ PODKOSCIELNY: Mariusz Podkoscielny is in 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 AT THE SPEEDO CUP: The Beavers finished third in the field of 23 at last year's Speedo Cup. OSU's best finish was second, which came in the 1998-99 season, the Beavers have competed in the event since the 1994-95 campaign.

OSU 156, NEVADA 106: The Beavers downed Nevada 156-106 on Nov. 11 in their first home meet of the season as the squad posted 32 season-best times on the day. OSU earned its second win over the Wolfpack in the teams' 11-game series history.

Birte Steven broke her own school record in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:03.22.

STEVENS NATATORIUM: For the second season in a row, Oregon State scheduled all its home swim meets on campus as the Beavers moved into Stevens Natatorium in the 1999-2000 season. OSU had a 3-1 dual meet record at home in 1999-2000 and has a 1-0 mark this year.

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.

DUAL MEET RECORD: Oregon State has a 3-2 mark in dual meets this year with six dual meets remaining. Last year, OSU had its best dual meet record since 1989-90, as the Beavers went 7-3 overall and 2-1 in the Pacific-10.

The Beavers' next dual meets will be against the College of Charleston and Miami in Coral Springs, Fla., on Dec. 17.

OREGON STATE SCHOOL RECORDS: Oregon State has set four school records this season. Here's a look at the records that have been set - three of which have been posted by freshman Birte Steven:

1,000 freestyle	Naya Higashijima 10:16.57, Oct. 21 at San Jose State100 breaststroke	Birte Steven, 1:03.23, Oct. 21 at San Jose State200 breaststroke	Birte Steven, 2:17.29, Oct. 21 at San Jose State100 breaststroke	Birte Steven, 1:03.22, Nov. 11 vs. Nevada

OREGON STATE EVENT WINNERS: In the dual meet season, freshman Birte Steven leads the Beavers with 12 wins. A look at this season's winners:(Wins while swimming as an exhibtion entry are inparentheses, those wins are not included in total)

1. Birte Steven	        122. Naya Higashijima	83. Paula Finlay	        44. Suzanne Starkey	35. Arianna Higuera	35. Erin Buckley	        15. Bonnie Renwick	15. Jill McMinn	        15. Jessica Randleman   (1)

BEAVERS' PLACES ON SCHOOL TOP-10 LISTS: The 2000-2001 Oregon State team holds 59 of the 140 places on list of top 10 performers in each event.

Here are the members of the 2000-2001 OSU squad with the most entries on the school's all-time leaders list:

1. Naya Higashijima 	72. Paula Finlay	        63. Arianna Higuera	5tie. Bonnie Renwick	55. Sarah Cohen	        4tie. Amy Imwalle	4tie. Birte Steven	4

WHERE THE BEAVERS RANK ON SCHOOL LISTS: 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 Nov. 27:

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	10:16.57	20014. Jill McMinn	        10:38.50	20005. Amy Imwalle	        10:43.96	19996. Dana Stoddard	10:44.56	19991,650 FREESTYLE1. Naya Higashijima	16:55.87	20004. Amy Imwalle	        17:28.21	19995. Dana Stoddard	17:35.08	19997. Jill McMinn	        17:51.30	2000100 BACKSTROKE1. Tori Eisenbeis	57.23	19956. Suzanne Starkey	58.56	20007. Bonnie Renwick	59.73	20018. Erin Buckley	        1:00.50	2001200 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	        1:03.22	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	20013. 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	200010. Birte Steven	2:11.63	2001400 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY1. Erica Stephens	4:28.16	19982. Birte Steven 	4:29.86	20014. Paula Finlay 	4:33.00	20015. Sarah Cohen  	4:34.82	19998. Naya Higashijima	4:35.85	200010. Sheila Tehranchi	4:41.33	1999

NOTE: This list complete through Nov. 27.

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 www.osubeavers.com

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