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SMC Swimming: Six seniors lead Belles heading to MIAA meet

Eric Prister | Thursday, January 29, 2009

As the Saint Mary’s enters the last month of its 2008-2009 season, six seniors likewise enter the last month of their collegiate careers. Leah Bocinsky, Katie Carroll, Mary Kate Daday, Melissa Gerbeth, Jennifer Nicol and Kate Orbon have each posted a team top-five time (or score, in the case of diver Bocinsky) and has contributed to the team in some way.

Bocinsky, the lone diver among the seniors, has posted top scores for the Belles in both the one meter and three meter dive competitions. She set the school record for one meter (six dives) last year, and is second all-time for the Belles in three meter (11 dives), the format for the MIAA championships.

“As a diver, it feels so great to be able to contribute to the swim team and help make SMC competitive for the first time in over a decade,” Bocinsky said.

Gerbeth, a distance swimmer for the Belles, has put up top times for the Belles as well. She has the best time on the team in both the 1000 yard and 1650 yard freestyle events. Gerbeth also holds the Saint Mary’s record for the 400-yard individual medley and was a part of the school record-setting 800-yard freestyle relay team from last season.

Orbon is the only other senior to have recorded the top time for an event this season, doing so in the 200-yard freestyle event. She was a member of both the top 200-yard freestyle relay and the top 800-yard freestyle relay teams for the Belles this season. Orbon was also a part of the 400-yard freestyle relay team who finished in first place in the dual meet against Calvin earlier this season.

Daday competes in the backstroke competitions, holding the 4th best time this season for the Belles in both the 50 yard and 200-yard backstroke. Daday said the Saint Mary’s team has improved in her three seasons on the squad.

“The team has dramatically improved during all of the seniors’ time here,” she said. “Each new class brings so much to the program and each class is getting faster and faster.”

Carroll swims the breaststroke for the Belles, and she recorded the 4th best time in the 100-yard breaststroke competition in Saint Mary’s dual meet against Hope.

Nicol, a butterfly competitor, holds the 4th best time for the 200-yard fly this season. She said she thanks her fellow swimmers for giving her the motivation she needed to continue competing.

“I could not have survived all this butterfly if it were not for my fellow flyers; they give me strength when I am worried I cannot finish,” she said.

All of the seniors look to finish the season on a good note, with two dual meets left before the MIAA championships.

“I’m confident that all of the girls will continue to push each other at practice, our last two dual meets, and the conference championships February 19-21,” Daday said.