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SMC cross country working toward MIAA conference championship goal

Pat Leonard | Tuesday, September 30, 2003

The Saint Mary’s cross country team finished sixth overall at the MIAA Jamboree this Saturday despite two of its top five runners competing with minor injuries.Calvin College’s Jessie Lair was the overall winner in the 5,000 meter race at Adrian College with a time of 18:15.The Belles had three runners place in the top 50 and the team finished with 145 total points. Saint Mary’s senior Jackie Bauters led the Belles with a twenty-seventh place finish and a time of 20:11. Freshmen Sara Otto and Katie White finished back-to-back at forty-eighth and forty-ninth at the 20:54 and 20:56 marks, respectively.Both rookie runners competed despite ailments.”We ran a fantastic race considering two of the top five ran injured,” coach Dave Barstis said. “Both Sara and Katie ran extremely well despite having painful foot injuries.”Otto sat out last weekend’s race, the National Catholic Invitational, in preparation for the first conference meet of the season. Otto, Bauters and White have finished in the top three for Saint Mary’s in every race this season.Reinserting the freshman into the rotation this weekend at the Jamboree gave the Belles a huge boost.”We were only fifteen points out of fifth place and eighteen points from fourth,” Barstis said.Alma College finished in fifth with a score of 130, and Albion upped Alma by just three points at 127. Calvin, Hope and Kalamazoo Colleges finished in first, second and third place, respectively.Other notable individual performances were Elizabeth Commers in fifty-second (21:01) and Erin Nolan in fifty-ninth (21:15).While the results show a poor finish for the Belles, they are closer to reaching their goal of competing for the MIAA conference championship.”We are on schedule to have everyone peak at the conference championships on November 1,” Barstis said. “This team is progressing right on schedule.”