OSU swimming ready to compete in Pac-12 Championships

Michael Kiever Sports Reporter

Oregon State swimming will be participating in the Pac-12 Championships this weekend, but the name of the event is not entirely accurate—contrary to the name, there are only nine schools competing in the Pac-12 for women’s swimming. That does not mean the competition will be any less fierce, however.

“There’s nine teams, but if you finish in the top-5 in the Pac-12, you’ll probably finish in the top-10 at the NCAA Championships,” said OSU swimming head coach Larry Liebowitz.

The Beavers were unable to nab a Pac-12 dual meet victory during the regular season, but there still remains hope for the Pac-12 Championships that will be running from Wednesday to Saturday in Federal Way, Wa. this week. Much of that hope lies with senior swimmer Sammy Harrison.

“Choosing a Pac-12 school was one of the biggest reasons why I chose Oregon State,” Harrison said. “Being allowed to compete at such a high level has given me a whole entire different experience as a student-athlete.”

Harrison is a reigning All-American who placed seventh in the nation last year in the 1650 freestyle with a time of 15:56.01. It has been a trying year for Harrison, who has yet to overcome the high marks she set during last year’s campaign. Currently, she stands to have a lot to gain from having a big week.

“With the time that she went before Thanksgiving, in the mile, she’s about 40th (nationally,) but I think she will move up considerably after this week,” Liebowitz said. “If she goes anywhere near her lifetime best, she will be in the top eight.”

Additionally, the OSU breaststrokers–including juniors Czarina Isleta, Alice Ochs, Chelsea Chan and sophomore Corrine Shigeta– will be looking to make an impact at the event.

“If they swim their best times, they’re all going to have second swims and be in the finals,” Liebowitz said.

For many seniors, the meet will represent the last opportunity to compete at a high-level. Liebowitz expects the team to make it a memorable outing.

“For the most part I think that they’ve worked really hard and done a really good job, so I’m expecting good results,” Liebowitz said. “In the end, it’s really up to them.