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SMC Belles XC: Belles to host first race in five years

Joe Meixell | Friday, September 26, 2008

Saint Mary’s will look to continue its success this weekend when it hosts the MIAA Jamboree Friday on Saint Mary’s campus.

The team is coming off a ninth-place finish at the Calvin Invitational last weekend, and back-to-back fourth place finishes before that.

“I thought the team was spectacular this past weekend,” head coach Jackie Bauters said. “We had a very talented field, with ranked Div-III programs in the country and the ladies definitely brought their game. Although the overall team results did not seem to be great, the individual performances were right on.”

Bauters noted that senior co-captain Caitlin Brodmerkel and fellow senior Erin Seidelmann both achieved personal bests this weekend.

Brodmerkel added an interesting twist to her offseason training this summer.

“I actually spent my summer in a rural village in Uganda,” Brodmerkel said. “Therefore my offseason training consisted of early morning runs on the dirt road of Uganda as the sun rose.”

This is the first home meet for the Belles since the ’02-’03 season.

“The Belles haven’t run at home since the ’02-’03 season,” Bauters said. “It’s been a while and I am so thrilled that we are hosting the Jamboree before this senior class graduates. This race is for them, and I hope it is a great memory for years to come.”

The Belles are looking to come out and show off their hard work from this season, which included 6 a.m. practices on a daily basis.

“The Saint Mary’s Cross Country team is a great group of women,” Brodmerkel said. “We have a difficult time getting people to see that since we compete so far from campus. I am so glad that we will finally be able to show our friends, classmates, and faculty what our hours of hard work have enabled us to do.”

The Belles are coming off their best conference finish in school history, when they placed fourth last season and are looking to equal or best that finish this year.

Bauters noted that freshman standout Arianne Rodriguez is returning from being ill but is looking for her to have a good race at home.

“We are looking for our pack to close the gap with Megan McClowry and Arianne Rodriguez,” Bauters said. “Rodriguez has been sick and we’re hoping to see her feeling better and have an outstanding day at home. The Calvin team is ranked second in the nation and will undeniably lead the entire field, but I would like to see our ladies stick up there with some of the young talent at Hope.”

After the Belles host Jamboree this weekend, they will head to the Adrian Invitational in preparation for the MIAA Championships on Nov. 1.