Feb. 20, 2012
Meet Notes in PDF Format
CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State women’s swim team is heading to Federal Way, Wash. to compete in the 2012 Pac-12 Championship meet. The meet is set to start at 11:00 a.m. on February 22 and will run through February 25.
This is the second year in a row that the Pac-12 Championships have been held in Federal Way. The meet will take place at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center.
The Beavers have not competed in a meet since January 28 when they tied the Idaho Vandals. With almost a month of preparation and of recovery time, Oregon State is excited to get back in the pool for Pac-12 competition.
“The Pac-12 Championships is the culmination of a whole season’s hard work,” head coach Larry Liebowitz said. “So up until now they have been kept tired almost the entire time, but now we have been resting for about 12 days and letting their muscles completely recover. Hopefully this will lead to jumps in performances, not just better performances.”
The Pac-12 conference is one of the most competitive swimming conferences in the country and it currently holds five teams in the top-25. California is ranked no. 1 with USC, Stanford and Arizona all in the top-10, with Arizona State rounding out the top-25.
“Between the Pac-12 and the SEC, those are the two toughest conferences in the country,” Liebowitz said. “I think that the reason that I am coaching at Oregon State is because I wanted to be a part of the Pac-12. I think that many of our swimmers are in the same situation. They want to go to this meet, they want to find out how good they are and they want to compete. I think that we are going to do very well.”
Stanford is looking to defend their 2011 Pac-10 Championship crown against the rest of the field, while Oregon State is looking to improve from their eighth place finish last year. Although the Beavers only had two athletes qualify for the finals last year, they are hoping to have several swimmers in the finals for various events.
“It is a pretty exciting time and I think the ladies are all really excited,” Liebowitz said. “I think that we are going to see some stuff that will make us smile. One of the ways that I judge my meet is that we are looking for life-time bests from each individual. At the meet, you see them finish and see them look up at the scoreboard you want to see that look on their faces. I think that if we have a lot of smiles when they finish their races we will do really well.”
Each day’s events will begin at 11:00 a.m. with the preliminary round of the competition. The finals for each event will be set to start at 6:00 p.m. each night. The gates open at 10:00 a.m. each day and the admission is free on the first day of competition. The All-Session passes are $25 for adults and $15 for children, students and seniors and a One-Day pass is $10 for adults and $6 for students, children and seniors.
Fans who are unable to travel to the Pac-12 Championships can find information about the meet at www.pac-12.org under the women’s swimming and diving page. Fans can also check for live results during the meet at http://results.teamunify.com/pnws2/.
Fans can also visit www.osubeavers.com for results and recaps following each day of competition.
The following is a breakdown of the events:
Freestyle: The Beaver freestyle swimmers have been led this season by two talented freshmen. Dakota Bloch has been tearing through the Pac-12 in the distance events, while Shelby Webber has been consistently having success in the sprint events.
Liebowitz on the Freestylers: “We are looking for a couple of freshmen to really step up. I think that in the sprints, for almost all of the freestyles leading up to the 200, we are led by Shelby. But we also have Ocean Trail, who is a junior, and she is looking really good. Carrie Kelsey is swimming well, along with Allison Gillespie, who I think will step up at the 50 and 100 freestyle.”
Breaststroke: Oregon State has only had two true breaststrokers during the season. Crystal Kibby has been dominating the 100 and 200 breaststrokes in the last month finishing the regular season with 11 dual wins. Marisa Warman has been successful in earning personal bests in the breaststroke during the season.
Liebowitz on the Breaststrokers: “This is the most balanced team since I have been here, but the only place where we don’t have three or four athletes is in the breaststroke. We have two ladies that specialize, and we have some others that are trying it, so we will see how they do. Melissa Myers has done pretty well and Erica Brannon is swimming some breaststroke at this meet. Amanda Rose and Erica Nelson are both working on the breaststroke."
Butterfly: The Butterfly group has been led by Rachel O’Brien this season. She has accumulated nine dual wins this season. Jenni Dole currently holds the second fastest time in the 100 butterfly behind O’Brien. Aya Fujimura has been also been a consistent competitor in the 100 and 200 butterfly.
Liebowitz on the Butterfly: “I would say that probably our strongest stroke is the butterfly. They are led by Rachel in the 200 and Jenni and Rachel in the 100. Aya is going to be a really great flyer; she is only a sophomore this year. The senior, Hannah McCulley, I think will be really good this week. Maggie Hanson also looks really strong in the butterfly.”
Backstroke: For two years, Jenni Dole has led the way for the Beaver backstroke swimmers. She has won the 100 and 200 backstroke at the last four meets. Shelby Webber currently holds the fastest time in the 100 backstroke on the team and has qualified for the Olympic Trials in that event.
Liebowitz on the Backstroke: “Shelby Webber made Olympic Trials and she holds our fastest time of the year and that time looks pretty solid on making the NCAAs. I am hoping that her and Jenni Dole can break the 53.0 barrier, and that would put themselves into a very elite status. We also have Erica Brannon in the 200 backstroke. Margo Clinton has really come on this year also, so I am pretty excited to see some good things from her.”