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SMC Swimming: Belles prepare for dual meet

Joe Wirth | Thursday, January 19, 2012

With only two meets remaining before the all-important MIAA Championship in February, the Belles’ window is dwindling to prove they can take home a conference championship.

Coming off a 146-102 defeat at the hands of Olivet College on Tuesday, the Belles hope to redeem themselves Friday in a dual meet with Alma College and Calvin College.

“My expectations are the same for all our meets,” coach Mark Benishek said. “I want to see my swimmers swim their fastest and never give up on themselves or their teammates.”

Despite the loss, there were a few bright spots in the Olivet meet. Senior Audrey Dalrymple was the Belles’ star, winning the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:12.31. She also won the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:34.81 and the 200

individual medley in 2:18.28.

She continued the trend of strong swims by the St. Mary’s upperclassmen.

“Our senior leadership has been a strong point all year. Katie Donovan, Megan Price and Audrey Dalrymple have all had strong performances,” Benishek said. “Their senior leadership has been great and they have backed it up with strong swims. We know we can always count on them for motivation.”

Calvin and Alma will provide a stiff test for the Belles and prepare them for the upcoming MIAA Championship.

Alma will also try to get back to winning ways Friday, as they fell to Albion College last weekend.

While the Belles are led by their senior leadership, Calvin has a talented group of underclassmen making their own mark.

This group includes the triumvirate of freshman Erika Waugh, sophomore Samantha Musol and freshman Kathryn Wrobel. Waugh has the team’s fastest times in the 50, 100 and 200 back, while Musol has the fastest time in the 50 free. Wrobel has the fastest time in the 375 free.

“Every conference dual meet is preparation for the conference championships,” Benishek said. “Each meet gives the team a preview of their competition. This allows us to fine tune our training and put us in a place to succeed.”

The competition will take place at the Venema Aquatic Center on the campus of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich.