Beavers Break More Records

Dec. 1, 2001

LONG BEACH, Calif. - Oregon State set four more school records Saturday en route to a second-place finish in the 21-team Speedo Cup women's swimming meet at Belmont Plaza pool. The Beavers (3-2 overall, 0-1 Pacific-10) set 11 school records in the three-day meet, which was won by Pacific (Calif.).

'We've never had a meet like this,' OSU head coach Mariusz Podkoscielny said after his team set school records in over half the meet's 18 events. 'I couldn't be happier. Everyone performed well. We got personal-best times, season-best times - people had a lot of breakthrough swims. It was as good as we could have imagined.'

Naya Higashijima's time of 16 minutes, 43.75 seconds won the 1,650-yard freestyle and broke her own school record of 16:54.91 set last season. She hit the 1,000-yard mark in 10:08.93, split times in the event count toward records, and that broke her school record of 10:09.39 set earlier this season.

Higashijima also placed third in the 200 butterfly, but her time of 2:00.32 in the preliminaries was the fastest of the day and broke her own school record of 2:01.43 set last season. That also met the time for NCAA Championships consideration, Higashijima will have to wait until March to find out if it's good enough to earn her a place in the field for the national meet, but Podkoscielny is certain Saturday's time will be more than adequate.

Birte Steven broke her own OSU record in the 200 breaststroke with her winning time of 2:13.95 seconds. In the process, she met the qualifying standard for the NCAA Championships, assuring the sophomore of a second straight trip to the national meet.

The Beavers annually treat the Speedo Cup as one of their biggest meets of the season, and this week's performance could be a springboard to a strong finish.

'It puts us in good position as a team and with individual performances,' Podkoscielny said. 'We're at a level where we haven't been before. We've only had three appearances at the NCAAs (Amy van Loben Sels in 1994 and 1995 and Steven last season), and the way it looks right now we'll send two going in the same year (Higashijima and Steven). I'm very proud of this group.'

After this coming week's final exams, OSU will head to Hawai'i for its winter training trip. The Beavers are tentatively scheduled to swim at Hawai'i on Dec. 9 and vs. Seattle on Dec. 16 before returning home for the holidays.



FINAL TEAM SCORES (TOP 10) - Pacific (Calif.) 1,296, Oregon State 962, California-Santa Barbara 821.5, Brigham Young 682, Drury 602.5, California-San Diego 514.5, New Mexico State 434, San Diego 355, California-Irvine 292, San Jose State 278.

1,650 FREESTYLE - 1. Naya Higashijima, OSU, 16:43.75 (new school record, also new school record for 1,000 freestyle with 10:08.83 split), 4. Grace Peterson, OSU, 17:34.62, 21. Jillian McMinn, OSU, 18:04.83, 27. Jill Personius, OSU, 18:14.81, 28. Dana Stoddard, OSU, 18:16.26. 200 BACKSTROKE - 1. Sarah Marshall, Pacific (Calif.), 1:58.63, 8. Jessie Hong, OSU, 2:06.77. 100 FREESTYLE - 1. Cortnee Adams, Brigham Young, 50.59, 3. Kristin Huston, OSU, 51.40, 19. Stephanie Chambers, OSU, 53.89, 34. Suzanne Starkey, OSU, 52.67, 38. Bonnie Renwick, OSU, 54.65, 40. Jill Personius, OSU, 54.78, 105. Annie Zucker, OSU, 57.98. 200 BREASTSTROKE - 1. Birte Steven, OSU, 2:13.95, 6. Paula Finlay, OSU, 2:19.50, 9. Sheila Tehranchi, OSU, 2:21.92, 11. Mari Embertson, OSU, 2:22.89, 15. Nicole Reynolds, OSU, 2:23.87. 200 BUTTERFLY - 1. Robin Errecart, Pacific (Calif.), 2:01.34, 3. Naya Higashijima, OSU, 2:03.84 (prelims 2:00.32), 22. Jillian McMinn, OSU, 2:13.87. 400 FREESTYLE RELAY - 1. Pacific (Calif.) A, 3:26.69, 3. Oregon State A, 3:30.24.

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