Women's Swimming Puts Dual Meet Winning Streak On The Line At Washington State

Jan. 30, 2002


Oregon State at Washington State, Pullman, Wash., 7 p.m.


Oregon State at Washington State, Pullman, Wash., 11 a.m.

Oregon State (7-2 overall, 0-1 Pacific-10) returns to Pacific-10 Conference action when it travels to Washington State for two dual meets.

The Cougars (6-3 overall, 1-2 Pacific 10) will be the Beavers first conference opponent since Oct. 19, when the Beavers were defeated by UCLA. Washington State is coming off a 139-123 victory over Nevada on Jan. 26.

'This will be one of the toughest competitions we participate in all year,' OSU head coach Mariusz Podkoscielny said. 'WSU is a very improved team. They beat Washington earlier this season and we are going into their home which always makes it a little harder.'

Friday night's meet will contain 16 events and Saturday's competition will be comprised of 13 races.

'WSU has good depth and is good in the short events,' Podkoscielny said. 'We are going to emphasize to score in our strong events and challenge in their events. The meet is going to come down to events that both teams are capable of winning and that is what we are going to be concentrating on.'

The Beavers lineup was not at full strength in their victory over Fresno State last Saturday, with only 14 swimmers competing. Podkoscielny said several members of his team are battling illnesses and the Beavers would have at best 16 swimmers competing this weekend.

'We've been dealing with a lot of adversity the last three weeks and are coming off two hectic weekends,' Podkoscielny said. 'We need to get up on the blocks and get back on track. Since we compete the night before, Saturday's races will be harder and show what we are made of.'

OSU's current streak of seven straight dual meet victories is the third longest in the program, trailing the school of 11, which has been accomplished twice. The 1979-80 team won its last 8 meets and the Beavers began the following season with 3 straight wins. In 1981-82, OSU won its final five meets and the Beavers won their first six duals during the 1982-83 season.

ALL-TIME VERSUS WASHINGTON STATE: Oregon State dropped two dual meets (138-124 and 113-92) to the Cougars a year ago in Corvallis. OSU is 9-27 all-time versus Washington State and won two duals (140-121 and 118-85) at Pullman in 2000.

LAST MEET: Naya Higashijima and Birte Steven each won three races as Oregon State won its seventh straight dual meet and guaranteed its third third straight winning season with a 151-143 victory at Fresno State.

The Beavers trailed 93-92 with five races remaining, but won the next four races and picked up second place finished in three of those races to secure the win.

'We got off to a rocky start and weren't racing well,' OSU head coach Mariusz Podkoscielny said. 'We warmed up and got more into racing after the first session.'

Kristin Huston placed first in the 50 yard freestyle and the 100 freestyle and took second in the 100 backstroke. Mari Embertson finished second in three races and Paula Finlay picked up a pair of second place finishes. Suzanne Starkey claimed OSU's other individual first place finish with a win in the 100 butterfly.

HEAD COACH MARIUSZ PODKOSCIELNY: Mariusz Podkoscielny is in his sixth season as head coach at Oregon State. Since taking over the Beaver program at the start of the 1996-97 season, Podkoscielny's teams have a dual meet record of 28-32 overall and 2-15 in the Pacific-10.

Podkoscielny, 33, is a nine-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.

BEAVERS FACE TOP-FLIGHT SCHEDULE: Oregon State will compete against 6 teams ranked in the CSCAA coaches poll as of Jan 18: No. 1 Stanford, No. 3 Arizona, No. 6 California, No. 7 Arizona State, No. 10 Southern California and No. 11 UCLA.

STEVENS NATATORIUM: Oregon State swims its home meets at Stevens Natatorium on the OSU campus. The Beavers are 3-0 at home in dual meets this season and have an all-time record of 8-3 in the pool.

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.

OREGON STATE WINNING STREAKS: Oregon State's current 7-meet win streak in duals is the third-longest in the history of the program. Oregon State's longest winning streak is 11, a feat set twice. The 1979-80 team won its last 8 meets and the following season started with 3 wins. In 1981-82, OSU finished with 5 wins and the Beavers won their first 6 dual meets during the 1982-82 season.

OREGON STATE SEASON FINISHES: The Beavers have guaranteed themselves a winning season in dual meet races with a current record of 7-2 and only three meets remaining. This marks the third consecutive year that the OSU will finish with a winning record, and is the longest streak since a four-year run above .500 from 1987-88 to 1990-91.

OREGON STATE WIN TOTALS: A victory in one of its final three dual meets would be OSU's eighth of the season and its highest win total in a season since the 1981-82 team finished 9-1. The Beavers have won seven duals in a season five times since 1982, including seven in each of the past two seasons.

OREGON STATE SCHOOL RECORDS: Members of Oregon State's 2001-02 squad hold 11 of the 14 individual event school records. The Beavers have already begun rewriting the book this season, having broken school records 14 times in 12 different events. A look at the occasions when OSU has set school marks this season:

1,000 FREESTYLE: Naya Higashijima, 10:09.39, Oct. 26 vs. Utah.400 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY: Naya Higashijima, 4:26.56, Nov. 3 vs.San Jose State.400 MEDLEY RELAY: Suzanne Starkey, Birte Steven,Naya Higashijima and Kristin Huston, 3:48.03, Nov. 29 at Speedo Cup.200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY: Paula Finlay, 2:04.54, Nov. 29 at Speedo Cup.500 FREESTYLE: Naya Higashijima, 4:54.86, Nov. 29 at Speedo Cup (prelims).500 FREESYLE: Naya Higashijima, 4:54.05, Nov. 29 at Speedo Cup (finals).200 FREESTYLE: Kristin Huston, 1:50.61, Nov. 30 at Speedo Cup.100 BUTTERFLY: Suzanne Starkey, 56.14, Nov. 30 at Speedo Cup.800 FREESTYLE RELAY: Naya Higashijima, Paula Finlay, Birte Steven andKristin Huston, 7:31.50, Nov. 30 at Speedo Cup.200 MEDLEY RELAY: Suzanne Starkey, Birte Steven, Bonnie Renwick andKristin Huston,  1:44.09, Nov. 30 at Speedo Cup.1,000 FREESTYLE: Naya Higashijima, 10:08.93, Dec. 1 at Speedo Cup.1,650 FREESTYLE: Naya Higashijima, 16:43.75, Dec. 1 at Speedo Cup.200 BUTTERFLY: Naya Higashijima, 2:00.32, Dec. 1 at Speedo Cup.200 BREASTSTROKE: Birte Steven, 2:13.95, Dec. 1 at Speedo Cup.     

OREGON STATE EVENT WINNERS: So far this season, Naya Higashijima tops OSU swimmers in individual event victories with 23 wins. The Beaver leaders through Jan. 26 (exhibition wins in parentheses, and not included in total):

1. Naya Higashijima	(2) 232. Birte Steven	        (1) 173. Kristin Huston	    144. Suzanne Starkey	     3(tie) Verena Hass	     36. Paula Finlay	             27. Jessie Hong 	             1(tie) Mari Embertson	     1(tie) Bonnie Renwick	(1)  1(tie) Sheila Tehranchi	     1

BEAVERS' PLACES ON SCHOOL TOP-10 LISTS: Current OSU squad members hold 56 of the 140 places on the Beavers' list of the top 10 performers in each individual event. Current Beaver swimmers with entries on the OSU all-time leaders list through Jan. 26:

1. Naya Higashijima 	82. Birte Steven	        73. Paula Finlay	        6(tie) Suzanne Starkey	65. Bonnie Renwick	4(tie) Kristin Huston	47. Mari Embertson	3(tie) Verena Haas	39. Kristin Martinec	2(tie) Jillian McMinn	2(tie) Dana Stoddard	2(tie) Sheila Tehranchi	2(tie) Jessie Hong	2(tie) Grace Peterson	215. Stephanie Chambers	1(tie) Nicole Reynolds	1(tie) Jill Personius	1

WHERE THE BEAVERS RANK ON SCHOOL LISTS: Here are OSU's school records and where members of the 2001-2002 Beavers (listed in bold type) rank on the school's individual top-10 lists through Jan. 26:

50 FREESTYLE1. Amy van Loben Sels	23.11	19942. Kristin Huston	23.69	20026. Suzanne Starkey	23.96	20028. Bonnie Renwick	24.36	2001100 FREESTYLE1. Amy van Loben Sels	50.64	19952. Kristin Huston	51.40	20027. Suzanne Starkey	52.42	200110. Bonnie Renwick	53.19	2000200 FREESTYLE1. Kristin Huston	1:50.61	20024. Naya Higashijima	1:52.89	20005. Birte Steven	        1:54.20	20029. Paula Finlay	        1:54.99	2000500 FREESTYLE1. Naya Higashijima	4:54.05	20024. Verena Haas	        5:03.72	20026. Birte Steven	        5:05.31	20018. Stephanie Chambers	5:06.67	20021,000 FREESTYLE1. Naya Higashijima	10:08.93	20022. Birte Steven	        10:19.01	20025. Verena Haas	        10:26.61	20026. Grace Peterson	10:26.76	20027. Jillian McMinn	10:38.50	20009. Dana Stoddard	10:44.56	19991,650 FREESTYLE1. Naya Higashijima	16:43.75	20025. Grace Peterson	17:34.62	20026. Dana Stoddard	17:35.08	19998. Jill Personius	17:45.61	20019. Jillian McMinn	17:51.30	2000100 BACKSTROKE1. Suzanne Starkey	57.15	20017. Kristin Huston	59.37	20028. Bonnie Renwick	59.44	2001200 BACKSTROKE1. Christy Ryerson	2:03.41	19944. Paula Finlay	        2:05.45	20015. Suzanne Starkey	2:05.93	20017. Jessie Hong	        2:06.77	2002100 BUTTERFLY1. Suzanne Starkey	56.14	20022. Bonnie Renwick	57.04	20013. Naya Higashijima	57.17	20014. Kristin Martinec	57.20	1999200 BUTTERFLY1. Naya Higashijima	2:00.33	20024. Verena Haas	        2:07.72	20026. Kristin Martinec	2:09.34	19997. Suzanne Starkey	2:09.44	2002100 BREASTSTROKE1. Birte Steven	        1:02.24	20012. Paula Finlay	        1:04.39	20004. Sheila Tehranchi	1:06.26	2001200 BREASTSTROKE1. Birte Steven	        2:13.95	20022. Paula Finlay	        2:19.50	20024. Sheila Tehranchi	2:21.17	20017. Mari Embertson	2:22.89	20028. Nicole Reynolds	2:23.87	2002200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY1. Paula Finlay	        2:04.54	20022. Birte Steven	        2:05.25	20026. Naya Higashijima	2:08.40	20027. Mari Embertson	2:08.96	2002400 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY1. Naya Higashijima	4:26.56	20022. Birte Steven	        4:27.99	20014. Paula Finlay	        4:28.30	20015. Mari Embertson	4:29.99	200210. Jessie Hong	        4:36.46	2002
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