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SMC CROSS-COUNTRY: Rested Belles travel to jamboree

Ken Fowler | Friday, September 23, 2005

The Belles travel to Grand Rapids, Mich. Saturday to compete in the five-kilometer MIAA Jamboree hosted by Calvin College.

Saint Mary’s participated in the National Catholic Championships Friday and slightly lightened the intensity of its practices this week.

“We ran hills a little this week but it was a mini-workout,” head coach Jackie Bauters said.

She said the Belles are healthy for the most part and “excited” for the event.

“I think the atmosphere will be excited,” she said. “I don’t want [the runners] to have anxiety.”

The race is the only MIAA meet during the regular season and is traditionally the biggest event of the early year for the nine teams in the league.

The race accounts for one third of the league championship, with the MIAA Championship Meet on October 29 in Kalamazoo deciding the rest.

Bauters said that the past few days of training leaves her optimistic for the weekend.

“It was a good week … for all of us,” she said.

According to Bauters, the meet will be a homecoming of sorts for some of the runners. Junior Jessica Andrusiak went to Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School, and Bauters said junior Katie White had family in the area.

Bauters said the team expects Calvin and Hope College to be the toughest competition in the meet, with the Belles and Albion following closely.

Before Hope won the conference title last year, Calvin had won 16 consecutive league crowns. No team besides Hope or Calvin have won the title since 1984, when Alma won the last of its four consecutive crowns.

Albion and Alma tied for the league title in 1981.

Bauters said her team is can be compared to Albion.

“Albion, their situation is similar to ours,” Bauters said, noting each have young squads. “It will be really good competition.”

Bauters said she hoped for strong races from freshmen Alicen Miller and Caitlin Stevenson for Saint Mary’s, along with good results from veteran standouts Sara Otto and Becky Feauto.

Feauto and Otto led the Belles last weekend at the Burke Memorial Golf Course on the campus of Notre Dame with five-kilometer times of 20:31 and 20:32, respectively.


u Bauters said sophomore Megan Gray began practicing with the team again this week. Gray was the Belles’ top finisher in six of their eight races last year but was sidelined for the beginning of the season with injury. “Her physical therapy is going well,” Bauters said.