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SMC Cross Country: Belles set for final 5,000-meter race

Ken Fowler | Friday, October 14, 2005

One last 5-K.

That’s what the Manchester College Invitational is for the Belles.

Freshman runner Alicen Miller and senior standout Becky Feauto said Saint Mary’s runners are hoping to set personal bests in their final five-kilometer race of the season and continue the team’s momentum after a fourth-place finish in the 27-team Eagle Invitational.

“Since we found out that it’s a 5-K, a lot of the girls are really excited to try and set personal bests,” Feauto said.

The race will be last in Feauto’s collegiate career at the distance, and she hopes to break the 20-minute mark.

Feauto said that strong individual races should help the Belles in the overall team competition.

Many of Saint Mary’s top runners this year have been freshmen, and their times will be crucial in determining how the Belles fare.

After last Friday’s race in Lisle, Ill., head coach Jackie Bauters said Miller and her fellow freshmen had shown steady improvement.

Miller said this weekend’s five-kilometer race for the Belles offers them an easier course in their final race at that distance.

“I’ve heard this course is a good course to [set personal records] at,” Miller said.

Despite the team’s lack of a history at the course, Miller said the Belles are confident after last weekend’s meet.

“Last weekend was huge for us,” she said. “A lot of people stepped it up.

“We’re really excited for this weekend.”

Bauters had her team work this week and last on changing the groups in which the Belles run during the meet. Miller said that the regrouping is a work in process.

“In workouts, we’ve … tried to switch up whose leading [the packs],” she said. “It’s getting there. There’s still improvement needed to be made.”

Feauto and junior Sara Otto hope to finish close to, if not under, 20 minutes.