Beavers Add Three In Women's Swimming

May 2, 2003

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State has added three swimmers to the women's program, head coach Mariusz Podkoscielny announced Friday. Heather Jones, Brie Marhenke and Erika Wirth will attend the school starting in the fall. All three are sprint freestyle swimmers.

Jones, from Portland's Central Catholic High School, recently took fifth place in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle races at the Oregon Schools Activities Association State High School Championships. Jones also competed in the 2002 finals and was the consolation champion in the 50 freestyle and finished 11th in the 100 freestyle.

Marhenke, of Carmichael, Calif., attends Del Campo High School. Marhenke has best times of 23.6 seconds in the 50 freestyle and 52.5 in the 100 freestyle, according to Podkoscielny.

Wirth is transferring to OSU from Lane Community College. Wirth, who attended South Eugene High School, was the Class 4A state champion in the 50 freestyle in 2002. She must sit out the 2003-04 season in accordance with NCAA transfer regulations.

The addition of Jones, Marhenke and Wirth along with Sandy Hong, a distance freestyler from Decatur High School in Federal Way, Wash. who signed with the Beavers during the early signing period, puts the Beavers' roster for next season at 19.

'This class will improve our sprints and our relays,' Podkoscielny said. 'We are excited about all four joining our team. They have pretty big shoes to fill with the class that just finished their eligibility, but I'm confident they'll make an immediate impact on our dual meets and will be high scorers at the Pac-10 meet.'

Oregon State is coming off its best placing ever at the NCAA Championships. The Beavers finished in a tie for 25th in team competition at the 2003 meet behind the All-American performances of Birte Steven and Naya Higashijima. Steven, a junior and now a five-time All-American, placed sixth in the 200-yard breaststroke and 11th in the 100 breaststroke. Higashijima, a senior and two-time All-American, finished eighth in the 200 butterfly.

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