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SMC Swimming: Belles gear up for favored Britons

Bill Brink | Friday, November 17, 2006

Coming off its first victory of the season over Rose-Hulman, Saint Mary’s travels to Albion College on Friday with hopes of capturing another win.The Belles handily defeated Rose-Hulman 114-77, but Saint Mary’s coach Ryan Dombkowski said they will have a much tougher time against 1-1 Albion. Last week, the Belles won six individual events, but the top times of Albion’s swimmers in five of those events are faster than those posted by Saint Mary’s last weekend.Dombkowski understands the challenge the Belles face, but believes the Belles have a fighting chance.”On paper, we don’t have the horses to run with Albion,” he said. “But several of the events should be very close and the point swings could make the meet close if we have the determination to win all of those battles.”The intensity level and excitement of the team helped Saint Mary’s beat Rose-Hulman and must be present again for them to swim well against Albion.”The atmosphere of the meet was definitely a factor against [Rose-Hulman],” freshman freestyle swimmer Lindsey Nelis said. “In order to maintain that excitement we have to once again bond together as a team and show our support even more.”Dombkowski agrees, placing the burden of motivation on the team.”Great swims come from preparation and motivation,” he said. “The former I can help to take care of during the week, the latter has to come from within themselves and from their teammates.”Nelis was one of four Belles to win individual events last week and one of the three freshmen to do so. She won the 1000-meter freestyle in her very first attempt in the event.”I had never swum it before, so I wanted to start off well,” she said. “Also, my counter was very helpful. She would tell me when I needed to go faster and how close my competition was.”The team’s freshmen have been swimming well in the past two meets, taking five of Saint Mary’s seven individual victories in those contests, Dombkowski hopes freshman Meredith Lierz can break out as well.”She’s a young swimmer with a raw talent for sprints,” he said. “If we can refine her technique and her races, she has great potential.”The Belles need to focus in order to match up against a talented Albion squad.”Albion is much faster than Rose-Hulman up front and even deeper,” Dombkowski said. “We would need to have several upsets to have a chance, but that’s why you swim the meet.”