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SMC Swimming: Belles drop third straight

Joe Meixell | Monday, January 28, 2008

Saint Mary’s was unable to stop the bleeding Friday, falling to nationally ranked Calvin and extending its losing streak to three meets.

Calvin posted victories in nine of the first 10 events and recorded a 131-99 win over Saint Mary’s. The Belles’ record fell to 5-5 in dual meets and 2-3 in MIAA competition, while Calvin improved to 4-1 overall and 3-0 in the MIAA.

Despite the loss, Belles coach Ryan Dombkowski was impressed with some of his swimmers’ efforts, and said he feels very good about his team’s chances for the rest of the year.

“The team swam great on Friday after a hard week of practice that was really looking ahead towards our conference meet with very little rest or focus on anything before then,” Dombkowski said.

Some of the Belles posted their best times of the year in the loss. The all-freshman 200-yard medley relay of Reggie Williams, Casey Niezer, Caroline Arness and Lauren Hartman finished in a school-record time of 1:55.03. The group bested the previous record of 1:55.73, which was posted in the 2003 season.

The 200 freestyle relay team not only won the race, but it also posted the Belles’ best time in the event in the last five years with a mark of 1:43.70.

Mary Kate Daday and Molly Schall posted personal-best swims in the 1,000 freestyle, and Daday recorded a season-best time in the 500 freestyle.

“People in swimming will understand that doing this during an unrested mid-January dual meet is huge and means some great things when our championship meet comes around in about three weeks,” Dombkowski said.

Dombkowski also has high hopes for the Belles’ only home meet of the year, which is this weekend.

“We had a great day of practice Saturday morning, and we are looking forward to our home meet on Friday night again Kalamazoo,” Dombkowski said. “Again, it’s not really at this point that we can afford to look much away from our training to focus on a singe dual meet, but hopefully the motivation of our only home meet of the year will lead to some great performances.”

The Belles have already posted a school record for dual meet wins with five.