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Belles finish 7th

Anna Fricano | Monday, November 15, 2004

The Belles came in seventh place out of eight teams on Saturday at the Maroon Division-III Invitational hosted by the University of Chicago. Competition at the meet was stiff, with the slate of opponents featuring the top-ranked Division-III school in the nation, Washington University.

Washington easily took first at the invitational, followed by Luther College and Illinois Tech in second and third. The host school finished in fifth place, behind Illinois Wesleyan.

This year is the first season that Saint Mary’s has participated in the Maroon Invitational.

Junior Sarah Nowak was pleased with the way her team performed at the meet on Saturday.

“It was an invitational that we’d never been to before … [with] teams that we weren’t used to,” Nowak said. “I think that just getting up and racing against some of the bigger teams was an accomplishment.”

Nowak, who placed 11th out of 38 in the 200-yard freestyle and fifth of 25 in the 200-yard breaststroke, also turned in impressive performances in the 100-yard butterfly and 400 freestyle relay, with teammates Rachel Boury, Kelly Tighe and Kelly Nelis.

Going into the race the team was coming off a week of tough workouts, with the addition of more weight training to the regular practice schedule.

Nowak said the team is still adjusting to the more difficult workouts, but was still happy with the way it worked through any fatigue. Freshman Lisa Balog finished in seventh place in the 1650-yard freestyle, with a time of 20:05.83.

Nelis had high finishes in the 100-yard butterfly and freestyle events, as well as the 500-yard freestyle. And sophomore Nicole Korte maintained her consistency in the 50-yard freestyle event, placing 11th out of 44 competitors.

The Belles should have plenty of time to adjust to their new workout regime and prepare for the next meet. The team will not take to the water again until Dec. 3, when they compete in the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Invitational.