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SMC Cross Country: Belles to compete at Pre-Nationals

Sports Writer | Thursday, October 3, 2013

Saturday, Saint Mary’s will head to Hanover, Ind. for the Division III Pre-Nationals. Following last weekend’s fourth place finish at the MIAA Jamboree, the Belles will aim to improve even more, Belles coach Jacqueline Bauters said.

“We did well,” said Bauters, “We were looking at securing a fourth place finish and got it, just barely. Definitely have things to work on.”

In Saturday’s 6-kilometer race, Saint Mary’s enjoyed their best conference finish in three years. Senior captain Jessica Biek headed the effort, finishing 12th with a time of 23:45. Just 16 seconds later, freshman Brittany Beeler continued her stellar first year with an 18th place finish.

Freshman Kathryn Marshall, also stood out in her second race of the season. Bauters said she was especially proud of Marshall’s progress.

“She is doing great,” Bauters said. “I was hoping to see the jump this weekend and she delivered. She continues to look stronger and stronger at practice which is hopefully helping her confidence.”

Coming off an injury last year, Marshall paced herself with sophomore Allie Danhof and junior Samee Chittenden, eventually coming in 30th. The group finished 12 seconds apart as they came in 28th, 29th and 30th.

The tight No. 3 to No. 5 gap has been a specific focus for the team this year, and an area that they’ve continually improved in.

“We really need to close up our overall one through five spread in general to improve in the conference,” said Bauters, “I think we can do it.”

Saint Mary’s will race in Hanover, Ind. at the Division III Pre-Nationals on Saturday.