Swimming against their rivals

Michael Kiever, Sports Reporter

Healthy lineup set for matchup against Wazzu 

By Michael Kiever

Sports Reporter

It’s a busy time of year for the Oregon State swimming team.

Last Saturday, the Beavers took to the pools of the Osborne Aquatic Center in Corvallis for one last time this season, and it was the seniors’ last showing in Corvallis. Despite all of the sentiment that usually comes along with the final home meet, the tears were not exactly flowing. 

“It still feels like we have so much more of the season left, so for me, it wasn’t [emotional],” said head coach Larry Liebowitz.

With over a month and potentially four meets left in the season, there is still plenty of work to be done. It was not a completely impassive event, however, as the team dinner the night before became a time to reflect and share memories. 

“We had a dinner on Friday night, and that proved to be pretty emotional for the seniors,” Liebowitz said. “Everybody went around and talked to [the seniors] about something that they remembered about them when they first met. It was touching, it was really nice.”

OSU is now preparing for a hectic weekend with meets lined up on Friday, Jan. 22 at rival-school Washington State and another meet the very next day at Idaho.

Many schools in the Pac-12 do not feature swimming teams, and the Cougars and the Beavers happen to be the only two that compete in the region. 

“They’re the only other Pac-12 northwestern swimming school, so it’s become a big rivalry,” Liebowitz said. “Last year they came here and they beat us up a little bit, so we need to return the favor.”

For senior Amani Amr, who originally hails from Spokane, Wash., the meet represents the rare chance to compete in front of friends and family. 

“My mom, my dad and my sister are going to be there. They’re pushing me to finish strong for my senior year,” Amr said. “I live two hours away, and a lot of my high school friends go to Washington State so I might be able to see some of them, too.” Amr said. 

Playing in front of a few familiar faces has yielded success for Amr in the past, and she is hoping to repeat last year’s performance. 

“I know that last time we went to Washington State I won a couple of events, so I’m trying to see if we can do that again,” Amr said. 

This weekend also presents a big opportunity for junior Brooke Meyer, who is in the process of returning from a torn labrum in her left shoulder. It has been a long ride down recovery road for Meyer, who originally injured herself last year at the Pac-12 championships last February. 

“I was [originally] out for nine weeks just doing rehab, and then I got back in the water. I was training great at the beginning of this year,” Meyer said.  “One week in particular, I just went too hard, and it just got really unstable. I went and got an MRI, and they found out that I had torn my left labrum.”

In addition to her torn labrum, the training staff found that Meyer had an irritated rotator cuff. While she is not yet back to her peak form, Meyer has been working hard in physical therapy to come back even stronger. 

“I just have really long ligaments and it takes a lot more energy to keep everything stable,” Meyer said. “I have been doing rehab every single day just trying to stabilize everything.”

While Meyer returned earlier this month on Jan. 6 against Utah, she has yet to participate in her signature race, the 200-meter fly. Meyer hopes to make her return to the event at some point this weekend, and her presence in the race would make for a welcome boost for the Beavers.

“Especially for the duel meets, she really gives me more flexibility and where I can put certain people,” Liebowitz said.  “With her starting to get good times in the (200 meter fly), that means I can move (people) around and put them in different events where we’re not quite as strong. It just opens up a lot of things to make us more competitive.”

On Twitter @michaelkievaaa

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