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SMC Cross Country

Belles trudge through mud, illness in Oberlin

| Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Saint Mary’s traveled to Oberlin, Ohio, last Saturday and finished 20th out of 40 teams at the Oberlin Inter­-Regional Rumble with a score of 579.

At Oberlin, the Belles faced adverse conditions including mud and the flu. Saint Mary’s coach Jackie Bauters said although illness kept the Belles from competing at their best, she was still happy with how her team battled it out.

“It wasn’t our worst performance,” Bauters said. “It was a really stressful week leading up to [the race], and we had a lot of girls that were battling some illnesses. I don’t think we were functioning at 100 percent at all. In that way, I’m happy they ran as well as they did, but I don’t think it’s indicative of what we can be doing right now. I take [the race] as a stepping stone for people to learn from.”

In addition to the illnesses plaguing the Belles, a muddy course played a large factor in the race. Bauters said in that type of situation, the team just has to make the best of a poor situation.

“It was just muddy,” Bauters said. “You couldn’t really fix [the course]. They just got a lot more rain than the course was able to handle. With four races on [the course] and warmups, [the course] just got pretty chewed up. But everybody ran on it, so it’s not like you have an excuse for anything.”

A bright spot for the Belles was sophomore Brittany Beeler, who finished 34th in a field of more than 300 runners with a time of 23:15.6. Bauters said she was happy for Brittany but knows she can do even better.

“I’m very proud of Brittany,” Bauters said. “We both thought she was going to do even better than that. She just didn’t have the kick at the end that she wanted to have, so we’re working on that. It was really good for Brittany to see how well she can run against some really awesome teams. I hope it was an eye-­opening experience for her … to be thinking and dreaming of her goals for bigger things.”

Looking forward, the Belles will compete in the MIAA championship this Saturday, their biggest race of the season. Bauters said she feels the team is ready to perform well at the championship.

“I feel really good about what we got done over fall break,” Bauters said. “The team’s really excited. [The Inter-­Regional Rumble] is that confidence booster — we weren’t even 100 percent, but we did well. We’re going to use it to help motivate us to race even better. I think we’re really amped up about the race; we’re excited. We’ve got a lot of good energy.”

The Belles’ next race is the MIAA championship, which will be held Saturday in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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About Marek Mazurek

Marek is a senior history major and is a former resident of Carroll Hall. He has lived in Mishawaka or South Bend for all 21 years of his life and covers Notre Dame football and men's basketball. He has loads of hand-eye coordination but lacks the height to be any good. Marek is also a proud esports supporter.

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