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SMC Swimming: Belles look for individual success at Calvin

Isaac Lorton | Thursday, November 29, 2012

Saint Mary’s will take on its toughest competition yet, as it goes up against NCAA Division I, II and III squads at the Calvin Winter Invitational.

The Belles’ small team size will affect their overall score, but Belles coach Mark Benishek said he thinks the team will still compete on an individual level.

“I think we are a little outnumbered at this meet, seeing as there will be Division I, II and III teams there,” Benishek said. “There will be a lot of talent there. The Division I and Division II schools have very, very large teams. When it comes to overall team points, we will be outscored, that’s just a given based on their size. Our limitation is our small squad size which will affect us when it comes to team scores, but individually we should have some great swims.”

The meet is set up like the MIAA championship meet, where all swimmers will compete in the morning and then the top 24 finishers for each race will move on to the finals that evening. Benishek said it is an opportunity to calculate what the Belles need to work on over winter break.

“It will be a good way to evaluate ourselves at the midpoint of our season,” Benishek said. “I think we will have quite a few who make the finals.”

Benishek said with the Division I and II schools attending the meet, the overall quality of the races will improve for the Belles.

“It is always good to compete against better talent and swimmers with faster speeds,” Benishek said. “It helps push everybody all around, whether you’re a Division III team or you’re a Division I team. Individually, it’s definitely going to help up their time and speed for their events. It’s a great meet for that reason and that’s why we keep coming back to it.” 

The Belles look to end their fall campaign with strong swims against tough competition beginning Thursday at the Calvin Winter Invitational in Grand Rapids, Mich.      

Contact Isaac Lorton at ilorton@nd.edu