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Petcoff is satisfied despite loss at Alma

Dan Tapetillo | Tuesday, January 27, 2004

In Saturday’s meet against Alma College, Saint Mary’s knew it would be difficult to overcome the deficit of having no divers. But this deficit proved too much for the Belles, as the team lost 137-97 and dropped their sixth consecutive conference meet of the season.

Saint Mary’s 0-6 standing in the MIAA is not an accurate depiction of how much success Saint Mary’s expects to have at the MIAA Championships. Saint Mary’s was more focused upon increasing the amount of training this past week than in previous weeks to help build the team’s endurance.

“What happened at this meet was that we worked hard this past week, and we knew that we would be swimming tired,” Saint Mary’s swimming coach Gregg Petcoff said. “We just wanted to swim the best times we could.”

Despite fatigue factoring into Saint Mary’s performance last weekend, multiple swimmers showed signs of progress, and several swimmers finished the meet with season-best times. In just her third meet of her collegiate career, sophomore Sarah Nowak finished second in the 200-yard breaststroke in a time of 2 minutes, 37.25 seconds to place her fourth all-time for the Belles.

“[Nowak] eats up the practices, and she seems to swim well tired,” Petcoff said.

Junior Michelle Stanforth competed in the 200-yard breaststroke and placed fourth with a season-best time of 2:43.88.

It was Julie McGranahan’s stunning performance in the 200-yard butterfly that helped her to earn the performer of the meet honor. McGranahan placed second in the event with a time of 2:22.2.

“It jumped out at us,” Petcoff said. “[McGranahan] was aggressive, and her swim was the one that was impressive enough to pop some eyes.”

McGranahan also finished second for Saint Mary’s in the 1000-yard freestyle in a time of 11:53.15.

Although Saint Mary’s lost to Alma, the team is focused upon leaving an impact at the MIAA Championships next month.

“We were not willing to trade a good week of training to swim well at the championships for that one win at Alma,” Petcoff said. “However, we did have some good swims, and I walked away from the meet very pleased.”