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Freshmen lead Belles to sixth place finish

Pat Leonard | Tuesday, September 16, 2003

The Saint Mary’s cross country team finished in a tie for sixth place in the nine-team Aquinas College Invitational on Friday.

“No one surprised me,” Belles coach David Barstis said. “We ran similar to the first meet.”

The Belles tied fellow MIAA competitor Hope College in the 5,000 meter race with a score of 144. Grand Valley State University won with a score of 15, and host Aquinas College finished second with 84.

“I was pleased with the outcome,” Barstis said.  “One of the things we are working on is closing our 1-5 gap. We need to get the gap down to 3045 seconds.  Since I view these races as workouts, we train through them. That means they are racing on tired legs.  They’ll get a break before the first conference meet at the end ofthe month.”

The St. Mary’s freshmen led the way for the Belles for the second straight race. Katie White placed highest at 30th with a time of 20:09, and Sara Otto finished close behind her in 35th (20:21).

Senior Jackie Bauters was the only other Belles runner in the top 50, coming in just two seconds behind Otto.

All three runners placed highest for their team in Saint Mary’s first meet, as well – a fifth-place finish at the Tiffin/Heidelberg College Invitational.

White improved her previous time in the 5,000 meter by 10 seconds. Otto and Bauters were 20 and 30 seconds slower in this weekend’s race, respectively.

The Belles had seven of 16 runners finish in under 22 minutes. Freshmen Elizabeth Commers, Erin Nolan and Becky Feauto and senior Risa Zander all broke the 22-minute barrier, with Feauto as the anchor with a 21:54 time for 81st place.