Steven Meets NCAA Qualifying Mark In 100-Yard Breaststroke

Dec. 7, 2002

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - Birte Steven placed second and qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 100-yard breaststroke, and the Beavers set five school records in four events and one meet record Saturday in the Husky Invitational at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center.

Suzanne Starkey broke her own school records in the 100 backstroke and 100 butterfly, Steven twice broke her school record in the 100 breaststroke, and the 200 medley relay team set a school and meet record. So far, Oregon State has set two meet records and 11 school records in nine events.

'We had some breakthrough swims today,' OSU head coach Mariusz Podkoscielny said. 'It's becoming more and more of a team effort. We've had more people scoring points and breaking into the school's top-10 times. It was definitely a fun evening.'

Steven, a three-time All-American, earned an automatic berth to NCAA Championships with her preliminary time of one minute, 1.70 seconds. That surpassed both her school record (1:01.94 set at last season's NCAAs) and the NCAA qualifying mark of 1:02.07. Steven then lowered her mark with a 1:01.68 in the event final.

Starkey finished sixth and broke the school's fifth-oldest record with a 56.51 in her 100 backstroke preliminary race. The senior previously held the record at 57.15, which she set at the 2000 Speedo Cup. In the 100 butterfly, Starkey finished fourth and eclipsed the school record she set at last season's Pac-10 Championships by .01 with a 55.76 in her preliminary race.

Oregon State set a meet record in a relay event for the second consecutive day. Starkey, Steven, Christina Kinney and Kristin Huston completed the 200 medley relay in 1:42.98, easily surpassing the school record of 1:44.09 set at last season's Pac-10 Championships.

All together, Oregon State placed seven swimmers in the day's five individual event finals. Monika Miroslaw placed second and Mari Embertson fifth in the 400 individual medley, Kristi Kuhlmey finished sixth in the 200 freestyle and Pacebutaite finished eighth in the 100 backstroke.

'Having two backstrokers score points on a regular basis dual meets and in a championship meets is nice,' Podkoscielny said. 'It is one of the reasons why our medley relays have improved. Everyone else is getting faster, but the key has been the backstroke.'

The meet concludes with six events Sunday. Finals are scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m.


First place and Oregon State

(finals times, and if better, preliminary times)

200 MEDLEY RELAY - 1. Oregon State A (Starkey, Steven, C. Kinney, Huston), 1:42.98 (new meet record, school record); 7. Oregon State B (Pacebutaite, Embertson, Higashijima, Finlay), 1:47.11. 400 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY - 1. Brooke Winkler, UCLA, 4:20.84; 2. Monika Miroslaw, Oregon State, 4:23.40; 5. Mari Embertson, Oregon State, 4:25.27; 17. Leah Schaab, Oregon State, 4:25.77; 18. Jessie Hong, Oregon State, 4:29.56. 100 BUTTERFLY - 1. Kristen Lewis, UCLA, 54.20; 4. Suzanne Starkey, Oregon State, 56.08 (55.76 preliminary, new school record); 11. Naya Higashijima, Oregon State, 56.58 (56.56 preliminary); 12. Christina Kinney, Oregon State, 56:61. 200 FREESTYLE - 1. Malin Svahnstrom, UCLA, 1:48.36; 6. Kristi Kuhlmey, Oregon State, 1:51.72; 14. Kristin Huston, 1:53.63 (1:53.28 preliminary). 100 BREASTSTROKE - 1. Megan Quann, Titans, 1:01.14; 2. Birte Steven, Oregon State, 1:01.68; 9. Paula Finlay, Oregon State, 1:03.80; Mari Embertson, Oregon State, DQ (1:05.90 preliminary); 100 BACKSTROKE - 1. Taylor Spivey, UCLA, 55.39; 6. Suzanne Starkey, Oregon State, 57.09 (56.51 preliminary); 8. Ausra Pacebutaite, Oregon State, 58.09 (57.54 preliminary). 800 FREESTYLE RELAY - 1. UCLA A, 7:27.27; 4. Oregon State A (Higashijima, Kuhlmey, Huston, Steven), 7:31.76; 12. Oregon State B (Thomas, D. Kinney, Hong, Peterson), 7:45.44.

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