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Belles to go to ND for race

Joe Meixell | Friday, September 17, 2004

The Belles will remain close to home this weekend as they travel across the street to compete in the National Catholic Invitational at Notre Dame.

Coming off of a fourth place finish last week at Aquinas College, the Belles are using this week’s competition primarily to prepare for their first conference meet, which they will run in next week. Last year the Belles finished 16th out of twenty-two teams at the invitational, but this year’s team certainly has the potential to improve its performance, returning four of its top five runners to the course. Additionally, freshman Megan Gray and sophomore transfer Meghan Murphy have the ability to bring-in top performances for the team.

Coach Dave Barstis says that the race today is being treated primarily as a workout, as the women are concentrating on improving their overall team performance.

“We are getting ready for our first conference meet,” Barstis said. “We want to come out of the National Catholic meet injury free.”

Barsits said he doesn’t want to count on any one person to be the star of the team, but is looking for team progress as far as helping each other on the course.

“We are going to work on our pack running and narrowing our splits between our first and seventh runners,” Barstis said.

The team is also taking advantage of the fact that their routine will remain unchanged and they do not have to travel to the meet. To capitalize on the opportunity, the girls are running through this race rather than taking time to rest up for it.

Though the schedule can be a challenge for the runners, Barstis believes it will pay off next week when they are getting ready for their first conference run.

But for now, the cross country team is prepared to take full advantage of the opportunity that they have to improve on their team performance before conference standing is at risk.