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SMC Swimming and Diving: Dalrymple excels, but Belles fall to ninth in ten-team field

Vicky Jacobsen | Sunday, December 4, 2011

Senior captain Audrey Dalrymple led the way for the Belles again, as they closed out the first half of the season with a ninth-place individual finish at the Calvin Winter Invitational on Saturday.

Dalrymple claimed Saint Mary’s highest finish of the meet with a seventh-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke, clocking in at 1:07.04. She also placed eighth in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:25.50 and 15th in the 200-yard individual medley (IM) with a time of 2:18.16.

“[Dalrymple] had a great meet; she just missed the NCAA qualifying time in the [200-yard] breaststroke, and she had a solid swim in her [200-yard] IM as well,” Belles coach Mark Benishek said.

Dalrymple was not the only one who earned points for Saint Mary’s (1-3, 0-2 MIAA) over the weekend. Senior captains Katie Donovan and Megan Price and sophomore Sarah Thompson teamed up with Dalrymple for the 800-yard freestyle relay, as the squad finished 16th overall with at time of 2:18.16. Sophomore Genevieve Spittler finished 16th in the 200-yard fly at 2:33.16, and junior Kristyn Gerbeth took 16th in the 100-yard fly at 1:05.03.

Saint Mary’s finished ninth in the 10-team field after racking up 47 points (the top 16 finishers in each event score points for their school). Division III member Grand Valley State led the competition with 980 points, while Indianapolis and Northern Michigan, both Division II programs, took second and third with 661 and 466 points, respectively. The Belles did outscore Alma, an MIAA opponent, who went home with just 25 points.

“I think we had a good showing. It was a little bit better than what I was expecting, so that’s always good to see,” Benishek said. “I think we’re definitely going to make some changes with our spring training, try to build a little bit more strength and help with some of the cardio level so we can stretch for a little bit longer and start shooting for the end of the season here.”

The Winter Invitational marked the Belles’ last meet before heading home for winter break.

“I know we’re going to be having the Christmas break coming up, which is always a little bit of a challenge when releasing the team and letting them go home for a while,” Benishek said. “It’s on them to keep their training while they’re at home before they report back and we begin our training at the beginning of January.”

Benishek said he’s been pleasantly surprised by his squad’s performance so far this season.

“We’re definitely ahead of where we were last year training-wise and conditioning-wise in all facets and in all individuals, so that’s good to see on their part and a great thing to have,” Benishek said. “The effort’s where it needs to be, and we’re starting to see a stronger showing and a competitive season this year.”

The Belles will return to campus in time for their training trip to Arizona from Dec. 28 to Jan. 5, before resuming MIAA competition when they visit Olivet at 6 p.m. on Jan. 13.


Contact Vicky Jacobsen at vjacobse@nd.edu