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SMC Cross Country: Saint Mary’s takes positives away from 2011

Brendan Bell | Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Despite not attaining all of the success the team had hoped for this year, Belles coach Jackie Bauters said Saint Mary’s took many positives from the season that runners can build on for the future.

“Unfortunately we did not hit our goals this year,” Bauters said. “We were really hoping to finish in the top four of the conference and we fell short of that goal. It was a good learning year for the team.”

Bauters said the team took its challenges in stride and helped produce strong performances.

“I feel like experiencing such a large setback as a team could crush some teams,” Bauters said. “While it was a challenge, we re-focused on goals and individually had some great personal records.”

Some of those positives came in the MIAA championship, where senior captain Joanne Almond ran the fastest time of the season for Saint Mary’s.

“I was really happy with our performance at championships this year, I feel like we ran very well as a team,” Bauters said. “One of our biggest [personal records] of the season came with Joanne running a 22:58 at the regional meet. I was really excited for her. She struggled with some injuries throughout the season and spent a lot of time in the pool, so it was great to see her end on such a high note.”

Almond, along with junior captain Sarah Copi, brought experience to the table and provided stability throughout the season.

Overall, Bauters said this year’s squad has shown great promise for the upcoming fall season.

“Joanne is coming back to help as an assistant coach for the team, which will be invaluable to me,” Bauters said. “We have a wonderful group of freshmen coming in who will be able to contribute to the team right away.”

Bauters said offseason training will be the key to achieving success.

“If they come back from summer conditioned and ready to lead, we are going to have a fantastic team,” Bauters said. “Next season is going to be great. I can feel it.”

Contact Brendan Bell at bbell2@nd.edu