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SMC Cross Country: Belles ready to take on Calvin

Michael Todisco | Thursday, September 16, 2010

Saint Mary’s will head to Calvin College this weekend to participate in the Calvin Invitational. The Belles will compete against a talented field, including conference foes Alma and Calvin.

This weekend represents an important turning point in the Belles’ season. Early in the year, the majority of events are either exhibitions or small two-team meets. Belles coach Jackie Bauters said she is eager for her team to begin the more competitive portion of its schedule.

“This week at Calvin we will see some great regional competition, a larger meet for us to really be competitive in. There are some very solid D-III, D-II and NAIA teams coming to Calvin this weekend,” Bauters said.

Because this is not strictly an MIAA competition, the team will not necessarily be focused on where they finish, but rather on meeting personal goals and developing cohesion as a unit.

“Finishing a certain place is not really as much of an emphasis as performing well individually and collectively as a group,” Bauters said.  

Although this meet does not count towards the Belles’ conference record, the team will prepare vigilantly for the weekend.  

“This week of practice will give the team confidence in their racing,” Bauters said. “We are working on our focus and working hard through the middle of the race. As a team, our goals are to work together and have some stellar times, giving them a real itch for the conference meet the following weekend.”

This preparation paired with past success in the race has given Bauters optimism heading into the weekend.

“Just about everyone raced very well last year at Calvin, and I would imagine the same to be true this year,” she said. “I’m excited to see what some of the ladies will do. I think there might be some unexpected great finishes.”