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SMC Cross Country: Belles take 18th in Chicago

Ken Fowler | Monday, October 3, 2005

Senior Becky Feauto led the Belles to an 18th-place finish at the non-conference Sean Earl Lakefront Invitational in Chicago Sunday.

Feauto finished the hilly, five-kilometer course in 20:39 and placed No. 92 in the individual competition of approximately 500 runners.

Junior Sara Otto finished 11 seconds behind Feauto and captured 100th in the individual race.

The Belles began their workouts for this race more than a month ago, as the team ran hills every week during practice to prepare itself for courses like the one it faced on the campus of Loyola University Saturday.

Freshman Alicen Miller finished fourth for the Belles with a time of 21:48, continuing the success she has earned in her first year.

“Individually, I felt like I personally ran my best,” she said. “It was a very tough course.”

Miller said that head coach Jackie Bauters and assistant coach Dave Barstis prepared Saint Mary’s well for the meet.

“We have been doing hills every week for the past month or so, preparing for any race with hills,” Miller said.

She said the team tapered this past week to prepare for the grueling competition in Chicago.

Miller’s time was the same as junior Katie White, who was fifth for Saint Mary’s.

Fellow freshman Kelly Biedron placed third for the Belles with a time of 21:22.

Sophomore Elizabeth Johnson crossed the finish line just three seconds and four spots behind White, and freshman Grace Fey finished just two seconds after that.

For the second straight week, four underclassmen were among the Belles’ first seven finishers, thus counting in the scoring system.

Miller said she is impressed with the young talent on the team. She also said that Feauto and Otto and the other team veterans have helped the younger runners.

“We’ve got great leaders to keep us under their wing,” she said. “They tell us … about the courses, where a tough part is going to be and where it’s easy to pass people.”

Miller and her teammates needed that information Saturday more than ever, as 27 teams – a very high total for a meet –

participated in the annual race.

Of the schools competing, though, the only other MIAA team in the field was Kalamazoo, which finished 12th.