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SMC Swimming: Belles seek to end season in top form

Joe Meixell | Thursday, February 9, 2006

The Belles’ regular season came to a disappointing end Jan. 28, when they dropped two home meets to Albion and Calvin by scores of 119-60 and 143-59, respectively.

However, Saint Mary’s is in search of redemption – as well as a bid to the NCAA championship meet – as it prepares for the MIAA Championships today through Saturday in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The Belles have struggled this season due to the lack of a diving team. Despite this handicap, Saint Mary’s has continued to work hard in search of both team and individual improvements. Coach Lynn Kachmarik said her team has been preparing for this event the entire season.

“Our goals at MIAA are to have as many personal-best times or season-best times as possible, to enjoy our last few days together and to really cherish our time together,” she said.

The team will look to its senior captains, Katie Dingeman and Kelly Nelis, for leadership in the championships. Kachmarik said Dingman and Nelis have been excellent examples for the underclassmen all season.

“They are outstanding role models for not only the rest of our team, but for anyone who knows them,” the coach said.

Nelis has been a force to be reckoned with throughout the season. In the Belles’ final meet, the senior recorded the team’s best time in the 500 freestyle, coming away with a 5:34.74 and earning second place overall.

Although the meet, which begins at 10 a.m., is hosted by Calvin College, the events will take place some 15 miles from the Knights’ Grand Rapids campus. Teams will compete at Jenison High School in Georgetown Township, Mich.