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Belles face Alma in final meet

Dan Tapetillo | Friday, January 23, 2004

This Saturday, the Saint Mary’s swimming team will compete against Alma as the Belles swim in their last conference meet of the season before the MIAA Championship in February. Despite Alma’s 0-5 conference record, the same record as Saint Mary’s, in the MIAA standings, Saint Mary’s is still focused on performing season-best times.”We need everything from first to fifth place finishers,” senior Megan Ramsey said. “Every point we can get is important because we lack divers.” Alma will be coming to the meet prepared with four experienced divers who are generally finalists at the conference meet. To overcome this initial scoring deficit – since Saint Mary’s does not compete in the diving competition – will be a challenge for the Belles, as they have struggled all season to make up the difference.Despite this obstacle, Saint Mary’s is anything but discouraged in trying to win its first conference meet this season. Coach Greg Petcoff has increased both the intensity and distance during the team’s workouts this past week, and the team remains confident as times have gradually gotten faster. “Swimming is not only a team sport, but an individual sport, as well,” Ramsey said. “But like Greg [Petcoff] says, we can’t make the other teams slower; all we can do is try our best.” Despite focusing on personal times, the Belles understand the depth and competitiveness of their conference rivals. With Olivet’s surprise domination at last Friday’s three-way meet and the 2-0 conclusion, Saint Mary’s will not take Alma lightly and is prepared for a tough squad.”We want to win, and Alma is in the same position as us, so it is going to be pretty close,” sophomore Kelly Nelis said. “But this season, as a team everyone is better than they were at this time last year.”