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Belles look to the future after a tough premiere

Joe Meixell | Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Saturday proved to be a disappointment for Saint Mary’s despite plenty of effort. The Belles began their season with hopes of proving that they would be strong contenders in the MIAA, but their meet at Olivet this weekend proved to be a difficult early-season test.

“It was an important meet for us to realize where we currently stand and where we can work harder to improve,” senior captain Katie Dingeman said.

The Belles’ effort and performance was not reflected by the team’s final outcome, the captains said.

Though they fell to Olivet 98-13 and to Hope 89-11, each member of the team strove to improve.

“For the first meet of the season I was happy with the way I swam, and I think that others were happy with their performances as well,” captain Kelly Nelis said.

Looking back at last season shows the Belles have potential for a successful year. They advanced to the MIAA Championship and finished in seventh place. Junior Katie Dingeman lead the team with strong performances in the 400-yard IM, the 200-yard IM and the 400-yard medley relay. Kelly Nelis was a key swimmer for Saint Mary’s, competing strongly in the 200-yard medley relay and the 200-yard freestyle. The squad hopes to break last season’s high times this year.

The Belles step away from the defeats with gained knowledge and bright outlooks for the rest of the season. Their next challenge will be this Saturday in a meet at Wabash against Rose-Hulman.