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Belles take sixth at Jamboree

Anna Fricano | Monday, September 27, 2004

The Saint Mary’s cross country team finished sixth overall Saturday at the MIAA Jamboree at Hope College. The team’s top runner, Megan Gray, was injured in the middle of the race and had to finish the day on a twisted ankle.

Meghan Murphy, who finished in the top spot for Saint Mary’s and 23rd overall, had nothing but words of praise for her teammate.

“[Megan] was in a lot of pain and she finished strong … she still had a really good attitude,” Murphy said.

Gray, who took to icing her ankle after the race, is questionable for the upcoming races but will certainly return in time for the conference championship at the end of October.

Although the team didn’t finish as high as the fourth place spot that they are hoping to end the season with, they still view the race as a success.

“Everyone tried their hardest, and it was obvious in their performance,” Murphy said.

The Belles finished only two points behind the fifth place finishers, Alma College. Since this meet only accounted for one third of the total conference points, the Belles can still finish above Alma.

Additionally, Becky Feauto and Katie White, who finished second and third respectively for Saint Mary’s, both recorded their best times so far this season. Their strong finishes were a good indication that every runner on the team can peak near the end of the season, which is exactly what coach Dave Barstis is planning on. That capability will be most important in a few weeks, when the conference standings are on the line.

Few surprises occurred in the standings of the Jamboree. Hope and Calvin dominated the competition, finishing well ahead of all other schools. Albion did overtake Kalamazoo College for a spot in the top three, and Saint Mary’s put themselves in a comfortable spot in the conference.

“I think we fulfilled our expectations and had fun…everybody was in a great mood after the race,” Murphy said.

The Belles are now looking ahead to the Oct. 30 race that will decide the season. They will use the next five weeks to recuperate, train and prepare themselves for the championship meet.