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SMC Swimming and Diving: Belles rely on senior leadership at MIAA championships

Joe Wirth | Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Despite three straight losses, the Belles can turn around a mediocre season with a strong performance at this weekend’s MIAA championships.

The conference championships take place in Holland, Mich., and give the Belles an opportunity to establish themselves as one of the elite squads in the MIAA.

Throughout the season, coach Mark Benishek has lauded the leadership of his seniors, which he said the Belles will need this weekend.

“Our senior leadership has been a strong point all year. [Seniors] Katie Donovan, Megan Price and Audrey Dalrymple have all had strong performances,” he 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.”

Sophomore Alex Kane, who swims the breaststroke for the Belles, agreed with her coach.

“I would say leadership is just as, or even more important in an event like this,” Kane said. “The seniors have worked so hard this season. Without their leadership and drive, our team would not be where we are today.”

Though she won’t participate in the conference championship, Kane said she understands how important it will be for her teammates to keep an even keel leading up to the event.

“Like any athlete, you have to just think that this is just any other sporting event,” Kane said. “If you think too much about it, you might psych yourself out. Usually before an event all of us just listen to music that gets us pumped up.”

Kane said her teammates see the championships as a chance to show how far they have come since the beginning of the season

“This event will just show how much work the team has put into every practice,” Kane said. “The team is going to do well at this meet without a doubt. We have worked so hard and have come this far, too, and now it’s time to show how hard we have worked.”

The MIAA championships will begin Thursday and go through Saturday at Holland Aquatic in Holland, Mich.

Contact Joe Wirth at jwirth@nd.edu