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SMC Swimming: Saint Mary’s heads to Purdue for dual meet

Chris Masoud | Friday, November 13, 2009

Following a tough loss to Kalamazoo College last Friday, the Belles look to get into the winning column for the first time this season as they take on Carthage and Purdue.

“The first meet we swam against Kalamazoo, which is a pretty good team,” Belles coach Alicia Dombkowski said. “Carthage is pretty good team, and we’re swimming against Purdue as well. I think we should do pretty well against Carthage, there will be some good races.”

Led by freshmen Katie Griffin and Ellie Watson and sophomore Audrey Dairyple, the Belles have aspirations of finishing in the top half of the MIAA.

“They are young, so they’re going to be around for a while,” Dombkowski said. “All three of them are very good swimmers. Audrey qualified for nationals last year, the first swimmer from Saint Mary’s to qualify. Griffin is very close to two school records, and Ellie is very good as well, so they bring a lot of upfront talent to the team.”

But standing in their way is Carthage, a good team coming off a big win over Lake Forest 104-101 last week. Furthermore, the Lady Reds feature Amanda Croix, the recently named NCAA Division III National Swimmer of the Week.

“The biggest challenge is Carthage is a really good team, so just being able to stay competitive with them is going to be the biggest challenge,” Dombkowski said.

Although the Belles fell to Kalamazoo in the season opener, Dombkowski believes the match featured some very encouraging signs.

Watson claimed first in the 1,000- and 500-yard freestyle events, while Griffin led the way in the 100 backstroke and the 100 butterfly. Dalrymple rounded out the winning cast by earning top honors in the 200 breaststroke and the 200 IM.

“It’s a very young team, but Saint Mary’s has never been fourth in the conference, so hopefully we’ll be shooting for fourth in the conference meet,” Dombkowski said.”
With realistic goals in mind, the Belles will send their best in the hopes of qualifying multiple swimmers for national competition.