Beavers Aiming For Improved Finish At Pac-10 Championships

Feb. 26, 2002



Oregon State at Pacific-10 Championships,Long Beach, Calif., All day

FRIDAY, March 1

Oregon State at Pacific-10 Championships,Long Beach, Calif., All day


Oregon State at Pacific-10 Championships,Long Beach, Calif., All day

Oregon State (7-5 overall, 0-4 Pacific-10) starts competition in one of the biggest meets of the season when the Pacific-10 Championships begin Thursday at Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in Long Beach, Calif.

The Beavers have been preparing for the three-day meet since narrowly dropping their final dual meet of the season to Washington on February 9. The team traveled to Long Beach on Tuesday and will practice Wednesday.

'I think we've had a good two weeks of practice since the Washington meet,' OSU head coach Mariusz Podkoscielny said. 'This is probably the best overall prepared team we've had going to this meet so we are very excited.'

Preliminaries at the meet will be held each morning session, and finals for those events will be in the evening.

The Pac-10 Championships is traditionally stocked with good teams, as is the case this year. Six of the nine teams competing are ranked in the CSCAA's Top 25 poll, lead by Stanford at No. 1. Oregon State has placed ninth at the Championships in each of the past five years but is looking to move up in the standings this year.

'We'd like to get out of the ninth spot,' Podkoscielny said. 'It is something that has been hanging over our heads for a long time. I think we have a great chance to move up. It is going to come down to individual performances. Everyone has to contribute.'

Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool is a familiar site for the Beavers, who broke 12 school records there during this season's Speedo Cup.

'We need to focus like we did at the Speedo Cup,' Podkoscielny said. 'I think that we've put ourselves in a position all season to be able to swim our best. The Pac-10's is long meet and we just need to focus on our performances.'

ALL-TIME AT THE PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS: Oregon State has competed at the Pacific-10 Championships since the 1986-87 season. The Beavers highest finish was seventh in 1990-91. OSU has placed ninth the last five years.

LAST MEET: Oregon State won eight of the meet's 14 events but the Beavers were edged by Washington 132-130 February 9 at Stevens Natatorium.

The Beavers nearly grabbed their first-ever win over the Huskies, taking the lead into the final event and needing a second-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay to secure the victory. However, Washington took the top two places in the race, edging OSU by .38 of a second for second place.

'We got so many breaks during the meet, they were due for some, too,' OSU head coach Mariusz Podkoscielny said. 'Washington was competing with a lot more swimmers (24 to OSU's 18), and we had a couple of injuries that kept us from being where we normally are.

'But I'll remember some great things from this meet, and I think our team will, too. Our performance today was indicative of what college swimming is all about. We rose to the occasion and we came up a little short, but I'm proud of our effort. This was the best meet of the season, and maybe the best of my (six-year) coaching career.'

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 28-35 overall and 2-18 in the Pacific-10.

Podkoscielny, 33, 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.

BEAVERS FACE TOP-FLIGHT SCHEDULE: This season, Oregon State will compete against 6 teams ranked in the CSCAA coaches poll as of Jan. 30: No. 1 Stanford, No. 4 California, No. 7 Arizona, No. 9 Southern California, No. 10 Arizona State and No. 11 UCLA.

STEVENS NATATORIUM: Oregon State swims its home meets at Stevens Natatorium on the OSU campus. The Beavers went 3-1 at home in dual meets this season and have an all-time record of 8-4 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 STREAK: Oregon State's 7-meet winning streak this season, which ended Feb. 1, is the third-longest winning streak in the history of the program. The Beavers won 6 straight duals between the 1987-88 and 1988-89 seasons. Oregon State's longest winning streak is 11, a feat accomplished 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 finished this season with a 7-5 dual meet record, marking the third consecutive year that OSU finished with a winning record, that's the longest streak since a 4-year run above .500 from 1987-88 to 1990-91.

On the record 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 andKristin 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 and Kristin Huston,7:31.50, Nov. 30 at Speedo Cup.  200 MEDLEY RELAY: Suzanne Starkey,Birte Steven, Bonnie Renwick and Kristin 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 BREASTROKE: 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 31 wins. The Beaver leaders through Feb. 26 (exhibition wins in parentheses, and not included in total):

1. Naya Higashijima	(2) 312. Birte Steven 	(1) 233. Kristin Huston	144. Suzanne Starkey	4(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 Feb. 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 Feb. 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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