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Belles take fourth at invitational

Dan Tapetillo | Monday, September 13, 2004

Saint Mary’s continued its impressive season, finishing fourth in a field of nine teams at the Aquinas College Invitational last Friday.

The Belles registered a team score of 106 points, and managed to beat conference rivals Hope College and Olivet College, who finished fifth and eighth respectively. Sophomore Megan Murphy said this meet was a crucial one for the Belles.

“I think the team did great because we are getting closer to our goal of finishing within 1-minute of each other,” Murphy said. “This goal is important because it makes our team stronger and closer.”

Leading the Belles towards this goal is freshman Megan Gray, who continues to establish herself as one of the team’s top runners. Gray placed 16th in a time of 19 minutes and 55 seconds. Murphy described Gray as an inspiration for the team.

“She sets the pace for us to push each other and is a leader for us,” Murphy said. “It is her attitude that also makes her an asset and helps me to run faster.”

Murphy finished close behind in 21st with a time of 20:09. Also posting impressive results for the Belles were Becky Feauto and Katie White. Feauto placed 31st with a time of 20:39 and White finished 33rd in 20:45.

Sophomore Sara Otto was the seventh runner to finish for the Belles in 21:30, 1:35 behind Gray.

Although the team continues posting impressive results, the Belles are especially pleased with the growing sense of team unity.

“I didn’t know what to expect at first,” Murphy said. “But everyone was really welcoming and shares the same positive attitude when we go out and compete.”

The Belles are using team bonding as a source of inspiration and motivation while competing. Knowing there is another runner working hard towards the team’s cause makes the race less intimidating.

“We came away from the race with more than just getting closer to our goal,” Murphy said. “We became closer as a team.”

The Belles will face its next set of challengers Friday when the team competes in the National Catholic Invitational at Notre Dame.