It's No Poolside Vacation

Dec. 16, 2003

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Oregon State, Cincinnati, Northwestern at No. 24 Hawai'i;Honolulu, Haw.; 8 p.m. PST (note time change)

It's a mixture of hard work, competition and a little bit of fun.

Oregon State is on its winter training trip to Hawai'i this week. While the Beavers (2-2 overall, 0-1 Pacific-10) will get to see a few of the sites, they're concentrating on swimming. There's four hours a day in the pool plus weight work; if there's any energy left, then you might be able to wander Waikiki.

'About every third day, we give them half a day off,' OSU head coach Larry Liebowitz said. 'We're having a good time, but mostly this is about preparing for the end of the year, not what happens in competition right now.

'They're doing a good job. They're maintaining the balance; they're training hard, taking care of themselves and getting enough rest but still getting out and having some fun.'

The competition part of the trip comes on Thursday, when the Beavers meet 24th-ranked Hawai'i (1-1, 0-0 Western Athletic), Northwestern (1-3, 0-3 Big Ten) and Cincinnati (0-1, 0-0 Conference USA) at the Wahine's Duke Kahanamoku Pool.

'Hawai'i is very solid, and Northwestern is very good, too, being in the Big Ten,' Liebowitz said. 'And Cincinnati is a solid Division I program. I think Hawai'i has four or five kids qualified (for the NCAA Championships) and I'm sure that Northwestern has a couple, too.'

The Beavers have six swimmers with times among the NCAA Division I leaders through Dec. 10. Birte Steven continues to lead the nation in the 200-yard breaststroke with a season-best of 2 minutes, 9.98 seconds, over a full second ahead of Arizona State's Agnes Kovacs. Steven is second in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:00.64, trailing Stanford's Tara Kirk at 1:00.02, and 28th in the 200 individual medley at 2:02.47.

Mari Embertson is 16th in the 400 individual medley (4:17.70) and tied for 46th in the 200 breaststroke (2:18.44); Ausra Pacebutaite is 28th in the 100 backstroke (55.78) and 41st in the 200 backstroke (2:01.65); Christina Kinney is 31st in the 200 butterfly (2:01.14); Kristin Huston is tied for 35th in the 50 freestyle (23.20); and Monika Miroslaw is 36th in the 200 butterfly (2:01.46).

In the relays, OSU has the nation's 18th-best time in both the 200 medley (1:43.60) and 400 medley (3:46.54), the 30th-best time in the 200 freestyle (1:35.11), the 34th-best time in the 800 freestyle (7:33.68); and the 47th-best time in the 400 freestyle (3:29.93).

OREGON STATE ALL-TIME VS. THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS: Oregon State has an all-time record of 2-0 against Hawai'i, winning 134-97 in 2002 and 69-35 last season with both meets in the Wahine's home pool. OSU has an all-time record of 1-0 against Cincinnati, winning 84-27 last season in Honolulu. This will be the first-ever dual meet between the Beavers and Northwestern.

OREGON STATE'S LAST MEET: Oregon State competed at the United States Open on Dec. 4-6 in Federal Way, Wash., and the Beavers' Birte Steven came home with a victory in the 200-meter breaststroke and a third-place finish in the 100 breaststroke. As a team, the Beavers placed third among the 12 collegiate teams competing.

OSU's Mari Embertson placed 13th in the 400 individual medley and 28th in the 200 breaststroke. Monika Miroslaw was 16th in the 200 butterfly and 44th in the 400 IM, and Christina Kinney was 20th in the 200 butterfly and 27th in the 100 butterfly.

Meeting the 'B' standard times for qualifying for the NCAA Championships were Embertson in the 400 IM and Miroslaw in the 200 butterfly; Kinney reached the 'C' standard time in the 200 butterfly.

HEAD COACH Larry Liebowitz: Liebowitz, who has extensive international and club coaching experience, spent the last eight seasons as assistant head coach for the women's and men's programs at Southern California. This season is his first as a collegiate head coach.

Last season, Liebowitz helped guide the USC women to third-place finishes in the NCAA Championships and the Pacific-10 Championships. The Trojan men's team was third in the Pac-10 and fifth at the NCAAs.

Liebowitz, 53, served as an assistant coach for the U.S. men's team at the 1999 Pan American Games and was also an assistant coach at the 1997 World University Games. He was coach of the United States men's team in the 1995 Pan Am Games and coach of the 1988 Costa Rica Olympic team.

SENIOR ALL-AMERICAN Birte Steven: Birte Steven is one of the most-decorated swimmers in Oregon State history, and she's looking to add to her accomplishments in her final season at OSU. The senior has earned All-America honors in each of her first 3 seasons with the Beavers and has a total of 5 All-America finishes; she's the only OSU swimmer to have reached those numbers.

Steven earned 2 All-America honors at the NCAA Championships for the second consecutive year in 2002-03, placing sixth in the 200 breaststroke and 11th in the 100 breaststroke. Steven's sixth-place finish was the best-ever for an OSU swimmer at the NCAAs.

In 2002, Steven became the first-ever OSU swimmer to earn All-America honors twice in the same meet with her 16th-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke and her 11th-place finish in the 200 breaststroke at the 2002 NCAAs. As a freshman in 2001, she placed 16th at the NCAAs in the 200 breastroke.

Steven has 84 first-place finishes in dual meet and invitational competition in her career at OSU, including 13 wins this season plus 1 more win as an exhibition competitor. In the Pac-10 era, she trails only Naya Higashijima on OSU's win list; Higashijima had 104 wins from 2000-03.

This past May, Steven qualified for the University World Games as a member of the German National Team. Steven competed in the 100- and 200-meter breaststrokes at the Games, and her time in the 200 breaststroke was the eighth-best in the world this year.

Steven was honored as the OSU Female Athlete of the Year for 2002-03 school year at the OSU athletic department's annual Benny Awards in June.

STEVENS NATATORIUM: Oregon State swims its home meets at Stevens Natatorium on the OSU campus. The Beavers went 4-0 at home in dual meets last season; it was the first time they had gone unbeaten for a season at Stevens Natatorium. After winning its first home meet this season, OSU is currently on a 5-meet home winning streak and has an all-time record of 13-4 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 EVENT WINNERS IN 2003-04: Birte Steven leads OSU swimmers in individual event victories this season with 12 wins. A look at Beaver victory leaders for the 2003-04 season through Dec. 6 (exhibition wins in parentheses, and not included in total):

1. Birte Steven (1)	132. Kristin Huston	93. Ausra Pacebutaite	5(tie) Christina Kinney (1)	54. Sandy Hong	45. Monika Miroslaw	26. Mari Embertson	1(tie) Kristi Kuhlmey	1

BEAVERS' PLACES ON SCHOOL TOP-10 LISTS: Birte Steven is in second place on OSU's list of event winners in the Pac-10 era. A look at the top 15 for OSU in event wins since women's swimming became a Pac-10 sport for the 1986-87 season, and how far current Beavers need to go to join the list; numbers are through Dec. 6:

1. Naya Higashijima, 2000-03	104> 2. Birte Steven, 2001-present	 84  5. Kristin Huston, 2002-present	38 Paula Finlay, 2000-03	31(tie) Traci Lamoure, 1994-98	319. Kelly Kaplan, 1988-91	2410. Arianna Higuera, 1998-01	2111. Christy Ryerson, 1991-94	2312. Sue Maxwell, 1987-90	1913. Suzanne Starkey, 2000-03	1914. Andrea Ziemer, 1987-90	16>15. Ausra Pacebutaite, 2003-present	14  Kristi Kuhlmey, 2003-present	9  Christina Kinney, 2002-present	7 Sandy Hong, 2004-present	4  Monika Miroslaw, 2003-present	4  Mari Embertson, 2002-present	3  Jessie Hong, 2002-present	2 

BEAVERS' PLACES ON SCHOOL TOP-10 LISTS: Members of OSU's 2003-2004 squad hold 47 of the 140 places on the list of the school's top 10 performers in each individual event. Current Beaver swimmers with entries on OSU's all-time leaders list through Dec. 6:

1. Birte Steven	72. Mari Embertson	53. Sandy Hong	4(tie) Kristin Huston	4(tie) Christina Kinney	4(tie) Kristi Kuhlmey	4(tie) Monika Miroslaw	4(tie) Ausra Pacebutaite	49. Danielle Kinney	3(tie) Leah Schaab	311. Jessie Hong	2(tie) Ashleigh Thomas	213. Brie Marhenke	1

WHERE THE BEAVERS RANK ON SCHOOL LISTS: Here are OSU's school records and where members of the 2003-2004 Beavers (listed in bold type) rank on the school's individual top-10 list through Dec. 6:

50 FREESTYLE1. Amy van Loben Sels	23.11	19942. Kristin Huston	23.30	20044. Ausra Pacebutaite	23.74	20049. Brie Marhenke	24.26	2004100 FREESTYLE1. Amy van Loben Sels	50.64	19952. Kristin Huston	50.98	20025. Ausra Pacebutaite	51.99	2004200 FREESTYLE1. Kristin Huston	1:50.61	20023. Kristi Kuhlmey	1:51.72	20036. Birte Steven	1:52.57	20048. Mari Embertson	1:53.80	20049. Sandy Hong	1:53.86	2004500 FREESTYLE1. Naya Higashijima	4:50.76	20032. Kristi Kuhlmey	4:57.61	20033. Sandy Hong	4:59.33	20048. Danielle Kinney	5:02.48	200310. Birte Steven	5:05.31	20011,000 FREESTYLE1. Naya Higashijima	9:56.74	20032. Kristi Kuhlmey	10:15.57	20033. Birte Steven	10:17.60	20034. Sandy Hong	10:18.08	20049. Danielle Kinney	10:33.89	20031,650 FREESTYLE1. Naya Higashijima	16:27.59	20032. Kristi Kuhlmey	16:56.30	20033. Sandy Hong	17:03.15	20048. Danielle Kinney	17:22.84	2003100 BACKSTROKE1. Ausra Pacebutaite	55.78	20049. Kristin Huston	59.37	200210. Ashleigh Thomas	1:00.04	2003200 BACKSTROKE1. Ausra Pacebutaite	2:01.65	20043. (tie) Jessie Hong	2:04.55	20037. Ashleigh Thomas	2:05.89	2003100 BUTTERFLY1. Suzanne Starkey	55.09	20033. Christina Kinney	56.39	200310. Monika Miroslaw	58.96	2003200 BUTTERFLY1. Naya Higashijima	1:57.42	20032. Christina Kinney	2:01.14	20043. Monika Miroslaw	2:01.50	20048. Leah Schaab	2:07.83	2003100 BREASTSTROKE1. Birte Steven	1:00.68	20043. Mari Embertson	1:05.90	2003200 BREASTSTROKE1. Birte Steven	2:09.96	20033. Mari Embertson	2:17.52	2003200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY1. Birte Steven	2:01.98	20032. Mari Embertson	2:03.78	20044. Christina Kinney	2:04.60	20036. Monika Miroslaw	2:06.81	20038. Leah Schaab	2:07.99	2003400 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY1. Mari Embertson	4:18.28	20043. Birte Steven	4:21.54	20024. Monika Miroslaw	4:21.55	20035. Leah Schaab	4:25.70	20038. Jessie Hong	4:28.31	20029. Christina Kinney	4:30.19	2003
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