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SMC SWIMMING Belles end lackluster season on a sour note

Joe Meixell | Monday, February 14, 2005

The Saint Mary’s swimming team competed in the three-day MIAA Swimming and Diving Championships over the weekend. The Belles finished in last place out of the seven participants, amassing only 141 total points. On Thursday, the Belles finished in fifth place in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1 minute, 43 seconds. Saint Mary’s missed capturing fourth place by 12 hundredths of a second. Sarah Nowak gave the team a spark in the 200-yard individual medley with a final time of 2:13 and a fourth-place finish. The team’s disappointing start to the championships dropped them into sixth place at the conclusion of a day one as it registered only 49 total points. On Friday, Nowak once again shined for the Belles as she concluded the 100-yard breaststroke in second place with a time of 1:08. But in the 800-yard freestyle relay, the Belles could not place any higher than fifth. Saint Mary’s totaled 106 points going into the final day of the MIAA tournament, only five points ahead of last-place Alma.Saturday offered little for the Belles to celebrate and concluded in much the same way as the previous two days had for the team. Nowak was once again outstanding, as she again placed second in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:28. In the meet’s finale, the 400-yard freestyle relay, arguably Saint Mary’s strongest event throughout the season, the team of Kelly Nelis, Nicole Korte, Bridget Green and Nowak finished in fifth place. The team concluded the event with a time of 3:45. The Belles’ struggles on day three were enough for Alma to overtake them for sixth, leaving Saint Mary’s in last place. Nowak was honored as the performer of the meet for Saint Mary’s for the second time this year. She was also recognized as the team’s most valuable swimmer in the second meet of the season with her outstanding performances against Hope and Olivet. The Belles concluded league action with a final record of 1-5, placing them in sixth place in the conference. As for the Belles, they are graduating only two seniors this year in swimmers Ashley Dyer and Michelle Stanforth. Next year, the young team will look to improve upon this season’s strengths and weakness and hope to come one step closer to capturing an MIAA title.