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SMC Swimming: Invitational wraps up for Belles

Cory Bernard | Monday, December 6, 2010

The Belles wrapped up the Calvin College Winter Invitational on Saturday, finishing in ninth place behind a competitive field of swimmers. The three-day event featured eight programs, each bringing an A, B and C team, with the exception of Saint Mary’s and Valparaiso.

The competitors hailed from NCAA Divisions I, II and III, with Grand Valley State, the top-ranked women’s swimming and diving team in Division II, easily claiming the victory. The Lakers earned 1,223 points, while second-place Calvin, an MIAA rival of the Belles, finished with 549 points.

Quickly becoming the most consistent performer for Belles coach Mark Benishek, junior Audrey Dalrymple was the lone Belle to earn a spot in a championship final. She claimed sixth place in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:29.91. Dalrymple also took part in the A-team’s 200 medley relay, which, along with sophomores Katie Griffin and Genevieve Spittler and junior Katie Donovan, finished in 13th place with a time of 1:59.27.

The relay B-team of freshmen Katie Roddy, Theresa Bajorek and Sarah Thompson and sophomore Liz Litke finished next in 2:00.43.

The 500 freestyle also featured back-to-back finishes for the Belles, with junior Megan Price taking 13th with a time of 5:24.04 and sophomore Ellie Watson finishing 14th in 5:24.80.

The Belles now look forward to some time off before heading to Florida for a week of training from Jan. 7 to 14. The unique opportunity allows the team to train and focus entirely on getting in shape for the MIAA season.

The next competition for Saint Mary’s comes Jan. 15at Rolfs Aquatic Center against conference foe Olivet. Races begin at 1 p.m.