Swimming Places Ninth At Pac-10s

Feb. 24, 2001

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - - Oregon State sophomore swimmer Naya Higashijima set two school records, but the Beavers finished ninth at the Pacific-10 Championships for the fifth consecutive year, as they scored 285 points.

Higashijima cruised to a time of 16:54.91 in the 1,650, good for a 10th-place finish. She placed 13th at last year's meet when she set the old OSU record of 16:55.87. The sophomore also broke her own record in the 1,000 freestyle with her split time of 10:54.31. Higashijima has broken school records five times now this season.

For the second consecutive night, freshman Birte Steven placed in the top eight in an event, this time in the 200 breaststroke. Steven finished in 2:18.12 to place eighth.

Steven has qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 100- and 200 breaststroke with her times earlier this season. She will be the first OSU swimmer at the meet since Amy van Loben Sels competed at the NCAAs in 1994 and 1995.

OSU also received career-best performances in the 200 breaststroke from Sheila Tehranchi, Kristen Severance, and Paula Finlay. Tehranchi's time of 2:21.17 put her in 18th place, while Severance's 2:21.58 put her in 22nd. Finlay placed 24th with a 2:21.68.

'I think overall, this year was an improvement over the last few years,' Podkoscielny said. 'One reason it wasn't as good as we thought it would be was that we set our standards so high. We're capable of doing better, and we will do better in the future.'

'We had a lot more finishers today - this is closer to what we were looking for this weekend.'

OSU's point total would have been 40 points higher had its 400 freestyle relay team not been disqualified for leaving the platform too soon.

A quintet of Beaver seniors swam their last competition Saturday, as Erin Buckley, Arianna Higuera, Melissa Hsieh, Amy Imwalle, and Kristen Severance have completed their eligibility.

'This was an emotional day,' Podkoscielny said. 'I owe them a great deal of gratitude for everything they've done. They will be remembered for years to come.'

Arizona defended its team championship by scoring 1,229.5 points, beating out UCLA's 1,130.

Cal's Natalie Coughlin set a U.S. Open record in the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:52.73.

The NCAA Championships run March 15-17 in Long Island, N.Y.


1. Arizona 1,129.5, 2. UCLA 1,130, 3. USC 1,099.5, 4. Stanford 1,033.5, 5. California 942.5, 6. Arizona State 784, 7. Washington State 432, 8. Washington 365, 9. Oregon State 285.

(Winners and Oregon State finishers)

1,650 FREESTYLE - 1. Jessica Foschi, Stanford 16:05.68, 10. Naya Higashijima 16:54.91, 30. Jill Personius 17:56.58, 31. Dana Stoddard 17:56.67, 32. Jill McMinn 18:05.65.

200 BACKSTROKE - 1. Natalie Coughlin, California 1:52.73 (U.S. Open record), no OSU placers.

100 FREESTYLE - 1. Haley Cope, California 49.27, no OSU placers.

200 BREASTSTROKE - 1. Tara Kirk, Stanford 2:08.54 (Pac-10 record), 8. Birte Steven 2:18.12 (2:17.50 exhibition), 18. Sheila Tehranchi 2:21.17, 22. Kristen Severance 2:21.58, 24. Paula Finlay 2:21.68.

200 BUTTERFLY - 1. Misty Hyman, Stanford 1:55.25 (meet record), 20. Naya Higashijima 2:06.62.

400 FREESTYLE RELAY - 1. Arizona `A' 3:18.39, OSU'A' disqualified. OSU `B' (Buckley, Finlay, Gustafson, Hsieh), 3:37.53 (exhibition).

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