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SMC Swimming: Belles fall to Albion, Calvin in final meet

Joe Meixell | Monday, January 30, 2006

The Belles’ regular season came to a close Saturday as Saint Mary’s struggled in a dual meet against Calvin College and Albion College at Calvin in Grand Rapids, Mi. Senior captain Kelly Nelis paced the Belles, placing second in the 500-free.

After a difficult season, the Belles are still looking forward to the MIAA Swimming and Diving Championships in Grand Rapids from Feb. 9-12. And despite the lack of success, first-year coach Lynn Kachmarik is proud of the team.

“This team has gotten up at 4:30 a.m. most of the year to compete and train,” she said. “It has been an amazing journey for me to be given the opportunity to coach and know our women at a different level.”

The MIAA Championships are second in prestige only to the NCAA Championships, to which the winners may advance with outstanding performances. Kachmarik stressed first focusing on the upcoming championships – much more than just another meet to the Belles.

“This meet is what our team has trained for since early September,” she said. “Our women came back from the holiday in late December and continued with hard training twice at day using the Rolf’s Aquatic Facility at Notre Dame.”

Regardless of final performances, the team will cherish its last meet together.

The Belles look to send off their seniors – Katie Dingeman, Kelly Nelis and Stephanie Hile – in style.

“Their example of leadership and hard work will lead this team in the many years to come,” Kachmarik said.