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Belles take 23rd of 34 teams in Sean Earl Lakefront Invite

Anna Fricano | Monday, October 4, 2004

Saint Mary’s came one step closer to accomplishing its goal for the season Saturday at the Sean Earl Lakefront Invitational hosted by Loyola University in Chicago. The Belles, who only have one conference meet left this year, used the race as yet another workout to prepare for Oct. 30 -the date of their final conference showdown. Saint Mary’s finished 23rd out of 34 teams in the Maroon Division of the race, which included Division II and III schools. Top runners for the Belles were Megan Gray and Meghan Murphy, who finished first and second for the team, respectively. The top three finishers of the division were Ferris State, Missouri South State and John Carroll University, respectively.But it was not the race standings that were the primary concern for the runners of Saint Mary’s. After Gray’s injury at the MIAA Jamboree, as well as other small afflictions that have been bothering the team, everyone is focused on staying healthy and injury-free in the weeks ahead. That isn’t to say the Belles haven’t been working hard. The team went into Saturday’s invitational coming off a week of increased intensity workouts. After taking a break to recuperate for last week’s conference meet, Saint Mary’s was back in full swing before its trip to Chicago. Junior Becky Feauto, who finished third for the Belles, was able to put into perspective what the race meant to the team. “Since this is our first week back we looked at the race as another workout, just running on the beach right by Lake Michigan – everyone focused on not getting injured,” Feauto said. Sophomore Sarah Otto agreed. “We were all a little bit sore,” Otto said. “I think the team did well for having that hard week of work.” Otto, who finished fourth for Saint Mary’s, also emphasized the importance of taking the pain in stride.”I don’t let it affect me mentally,” Otto said. “We realize that it’s part of getting ready for the conference meet.”Saint Mary’s also used the race to improve on certain aspects of team running, one of which being the benefit of staying together. Feauto noted the positive effect that running together can have on individual members of the team.”It helps when we’re grouped together,” Feauto said. “Running with my teammates pushes me throughout the whole race.” On Saturday, the team certainly seemed to have achieved this. The top four finishers completed the race in a 36-second span.