Beavers, Huskies Swim For It In Seattle, Jan. 13

Jan. 8, 2001



Winter break didn't mean time off for the Oregon State Women's swim team. Though the Beavers were home for the holidays, rest was not in the works. Members of OSU's 6-2 squad worked out on their own in preparation for the stretch run of the season and, more immediately, an 11 a.m. dual meet with the University of Washington on Jan. 13 in Seattle.

'I hope not,' head coach Mariusz Podkoscielny said of the prospects of his squad resting up over the break. 'It's probably the hardest time for us from a coaching standpoint, because they go home. It's really up to them as to what they do.

'We always say that swimming is such a unique sport, and everyone can claim that, but we're so highly aerobic, that if you take two or three unscheduled days off, it affects the next couple of weeks,' Podkoscielny said.

'Here, we gave them 11 days without supervision and asked them to get things done, so it is a hard period of time for us when we can't supervise them, help them, and work with them,' the fifth-year coach continued. 'Most of them came back in pretty good shape. We've had them back since Wednesday now, so we look for some good things.'

For the most-part, the team is focused after the break, and primed for the next two months and a strong showing in the Pac-10 Championships. The Beavers look to make a push to qualify for the NCAA Championships as well.

'They're getting there,' Podkoscielny said. 'Some of them are still kind of in a holiday mode, but with everything else getting back to normal, we'll get back in the swing of things with a schedule and structure. It'll probably take us a week to get there, but after we get back to a practice schedule and routine, things will start getting better.'

The Beavers' success the rest of the season will hinge in large part on how they come out of the break.

'It's going to be important for us to start the second half of the season on a good note,' Podkoscielny said. 'It's always tough to swim against Washington, especially when we go over there. But, like I said, we've been narrowing the gap. Last year, we had a pretty close meet - a lot closer than the score indicated. We've improved in a lot of areas, and I think this could be a year that we might be able to challenge Washington for the win.'

OSU has been unable to reign in the Huskies in the past, as OSU is winless in the 23-meet series. The Beavers pushed Washington in a 147-115 defeat last season that was more competitive than the score would otherwise indicate.

The teams match up well this year for what figures to be a hotly contested meet. OSU brings its own arsenal, with talent such as Birte Steven (a likely NCAA Championship qualifier), Naya Higashijima, Paula Finlay, Arianna Higuera and Suzanne Starkey - all of whom have claimed at least five wins this year.

'They have a good sprinter,' Podkoscielny said of the Huskies. 'They have a pretty solid team overall, but every year we've narrowed the gap between us and them, and this year is as close as we've ever been. We're going into the meet with the frame of mind that we can compete against them, and hopefully we can challenge them in certain areas and see what happens. This could be our year, we're excited.'

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 and 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. WASHINGTON: Oregon State is looking for its first win against the Huskies, as UW holds a 23-0 advantage in the series that dates back to 1977. OSU lost 147-115 last year in a home meet. The closest OSU has come was a 51-44 setback in 1990-91 when the Beavers went 7-4 under then-coach Julie Saunders.

OSU LOOKS FOR MOST DUAL MEET WINS SINCE1982: Oregon State has a chance at ten wins this year, as they stand at 6-2 with four meets remaining. The Beavers won seven dual meets last season, but have not won eight or more since going 9-1 in the 1982 campaign under coach Bob Yamate. OSU's highest win total was 12 in 1980.

OSU DOMINATES COMPETITION ON FLORIDA TRIP: The Beavers steamrolled their way through three meets in Florida over the winter break, defeating Miami 154-124 and the College of Charleston 160-129 in a double-dual meet on Dec. 17. OSU followed that performance with a 142-60 win in a relay meet with Coe College on Dec. 18 to improve its dual meet record to 6-2 on the year.

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 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.

DUAL MEET RECORD: Oregon State has a 6-2 mark in dual meets this year. 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.

OREGON STATE SCHOOL RECORDS: Oregon State has set ten school records this season. Here's a look at the records that have been set - five 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. Nevada400 medley relay	Starkey, Steven, Renwick, Higuera, 3:49.01,	Nov. 30 at Speedo Cup200 medley relay	Starkey, Steven, Renwick, Higuera, 1:44.90,	Dec. 1 at Speedo Cup100 butterfly	        Bonnie Renwick, 57.04, Dec. 1 at Speedo Cup100 breaststroke	Birte Steven, 1:02.45, Dec. 1 at Speedo Cup200 breaststroke	Birte Steven, 2:14.43, Dec. 2 at Speedo Cup200 butterfly	        Naya Higashijima, 2:01.43, Dec. 2 at Speedo Cup

OREGON STATE EVENT WINNERS: In the dual meet season, freshman Birte Steven leads the Beavers with 18 wins. A look at this season's winners (not including relay events):(Wins while swimming as an exhibtion entry are inparentheses, those wins are not included in total)

1. Birte Steven	        (1) **182. Naya Higashijima	(2)   123. Paula Finlay 	       84. Arianna Higuera	       75. Suzanne Starkey	       56. Erin Buckley                1tie. Bonnie Renwick	    (1)1tie. Jill McMinn	       1tie. Jessica Randleman	      (1)*- represents a win at the Speedo Cup, Nov. 30-Dec. 2.

BEAVERS' PLACES ON SCHOOL TOP-10 LISTS: The 2000-2001 Oregon State team holds 62 of the 140 places on the 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 	7 (200 free, 500 free, 1,000 free, 1,650 free, 		100 fly, 200 fly)2. Paula Finlay	        6 (200 free, 200 back, 100 breast, 200 		breast, 200 IM, 400 IM)3. Arianna Higuera	5 (50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 100 fly, 200 		IM)tie. Bonnie Renwick	5 (50 free, 100 free, 100 back, 100 fly, 200 		IM)5. Sarah Cohen	        4 (100 breast, 200 breast, 200 IM, 400 IM)tie. Amy Imwalle	4 (200 free, 500 free, 1,000 free,1,650 free)tie. Birte Steven	4 (100 breast, 200 breast, 200 IM, 400 IM)tie. Suzanne Starkey	4 (50 free, 100 back, 200 back, 100 fly)

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 Jan. 8:

50 FREESTYLE1. Amy van Loben Sels	23.11	19944. Arianna Higuera	23.99	20006. Suzanne Starkey	24.32	20017. Bonnie Renwick	24.36	200110. Erin Buckley	24.57	1998100 FREESTYLE1. Amy van Loben Sels	50.64	19954. Arianna Higuera	52.11	20017. 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 Personius	17:45.61	20018. Jill McMinn	        17:51.30	2000100 BACKSTROKE1. Tori Eisenbeis	57.23	19952. Suzanne Starkey	57.27	20017. Bonnie Renwick	59.73	20019. Erin Buckley	        1:00.50	2001200 BACKSTROKE1. Christy Ryerson	2:03.41	19944. Paula Finlay	        2:06.31	20017. Suzanne Starkey	2:08.73	2000100 BUTTERFLY1. Bonnie Renwick	57.04	20012. Naya Higashijima	57.17	20013. Kristin Martinec	57.20	19994. Melissa Hsieh	58.03	19985. Suzanne Starkey	58.12	200110. Arianna Higuera	59.31	1999200 BUTTERFLY1. Naya Higashijima	2:01.43	20013. Melissa Hsieh	2:07.67	19985. Kristin Martinec	2:09.34	199910. Jill McMinn	        2:11.28	2000100 BREASTSTROKE1. Birte Steven	        1:02.45	20012. Paula Finlay	        1:04.39	20003. Kristen Severance	1:06.45	20005. Sheila Tehranchi	1:06.97	20019. 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	20002. Birte Steven	        2:05.84	20014. Arianna Higuera	2:08.10	19997. Kristen Severance	2:09.76	20018. Sarah  Cohen	        2:10.96	19999. Bonnie Renwick	2:11.20	2000400 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	1999NOTE: This list complete through Jan. 8.

BEAVER SPORTS INFORMATION: Oregon State women's swimming sports information director Travis Lahman can be reached at (541) 737-3720.

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