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SMC Cross Country: Belles 5K brings in alumnae

Katharine Mack | Friday, September 10, 2010

With a 1-1 start to the season, Saint Mary’s will take a break from intercollegiate competition for an exhibition event — an alumnae 5K race.

“The alumnae race is a 5K that will just be the team and former cross country alumnae racing together. We’re anticipating 15 to 20 former athletes to come out and run, but it is not a very competitive event, but more an exhibition event for the team,” Belles coach Jacqueline Bauters said.

The event will be a good warm-up for the Belles, as they will race again Sept. 18 at the Calvin Invitational, which is an event for which the team has been working hard to prepare.

“For the past few weeks our focus has really been working towards our first real race at Calvin on the 18th,” Bauters said. “Up until now we are working to prepare ourselves to race competitively and strategically to do well then.”

The Belles will look to their core of veterans to help the team work on its weak spots before the meet at Calvin.

“The past two races have provided us with markers on how prepared the team is currently and what steps we need to do to get them ready for next Saturday”, Bauters said. “We have a strong team this season, with [sophomore] Julia Kenney and [junior] Joanne Almond leading a pack of seven or so sophomores, juniors and seniors.”

The team has indeed put up strong results already this season. The Belles opened up their season with a 58-15 victory over Goshen on Sept. 1, posting the top eight times in the meet with a first place finish by Kenney, who posted a time of 20 minute, and 48 seconds as well as a second place finish on the strength of Almond’s 20 minute, 48 second run.

The following race for the Belles came on Sept. 4 at Wabash. The Belles took home a third place finish out of six teams, only falling short behind then-No. 12 ranked DePauw and the Division II University of Indianapolis. Kenney and Almond were again the top finishers for the Belles, both coming in at 23 minutes and 27 seconds.

With some already positive results, Coach Bauters said she is looking to improve from last year and to keep striving for even more success this season.

“As a team we are looking to improve within the MIAA, cracking into the top 3 in the conference after a few years of coming in fourth,” said Bauters. “I think with the talent and hard work I’ve seen thus far, these goals are attainable. I’m very pleased with how everyone is running so far and look for much better things to come.”

The Alumnae Race will be held Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Angela Athletic Facility.