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Saint Mary’s takes title at Tri-State Invitational

Kate Arnold | Monday, September 3, 2007

Back on the course for the first time this year, the Belles shone bright at Saturday’s 5K Tri-State Invitational held in Angola, Ind., taking first place.The top five runners on the team all placed no lower than ninth, posting a total of 27 points, resulting in a win over Grace College and Tri-State University.Freshman Sam Wieczorek picked up a first-place finish in her first collegiate race with a time of 21:58. “She’s a very mentally tough, determined, feisty girl,” coach and former Belles runner Jackie Bauters said. “This race set the tone for her season. I expect her to be up front, scoring for us.”Wieczorek did not have to wait long at the finish line to celebrate with her teammates as sophomore Megan McClowry crossed the finish line 40 seconds later for a time of 22:37. Fellow freshmen Anne Maguire, Olenka Bilyk and Catie Salyer also looked impressive as they all placed in the top 10 with times of 22:52, 23:08 and 23:12, respectively.A productive off-season was the key to the Belles great start this year. “Over the summer everybody had training workouts and did their own thing,” Bauters said. “The girls came in good shape, just where I wanted them.”The team needed to be at peak performance to tackle the course at Tri-State.”It was a difficult course, so it’s typically slow” Bauters said. “The competition was okay. It was nice to race against conference teams, although it wasn’t particularly tough competition.”The Belles will face a bit faster course – and faster teams – next week when they travel to Grand Rapids, Mich., for the Aquinas College Invitational. The race is scheduled to begin Friday at 4 p.m.