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Belles make presence felt at Championships

Dan Tapetillo | Friday, February 20, 2004

What a difference a year makes.

After the first day of competition and only five races, the Saint Mary’s swimming team is already making its presence known at the MIAA Championships.

Despite finishing the first day of the meet in sixth place, Saint Mary’s has already swam away with noteworthy performances and are ahead of their seventh-place finish last year.

Saint Mary’s swimming coach Gregg Petcoff wanted an energy-charged beginning to the meet, and the Belles responded to his call Thursday night.

During the first individual race, senior and team captain Megan Ramsey came away with a second-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle finals with a time of 5 minutes, 14.22 seconds.

“She got out there and swam,” Petcoff said.

The exceptional performances did not end in the 500-yard freestyle. Sophomore Sarah Nowak continued her remarkable season by finishing eighth in the 200-yard individual medley finals with a school-record time in 2:17.16.

“This is her first conference meet and it can be a little intimidating, but she handled it like a pro,” Petcoff said. “Like Sarah, people are going out there and swimming.”

The team also placed fourth in the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:44.31.

Saint Mary’s is now looking towards the second day of competition, hoping to perform as well as they did in the first five events. The early leaders at the championships are Hope with a team score of 185 points and Calvin with 119 points. Saint Mary’s has 55 points in sixth place, closely followed by Albion with 50 points.

“It is truly individualized, but we are having so many people stepping up to help the team,” Petcoff said.