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SMC Swimming: Belles optimistic about MIAA meet

Pete Reisenauer | Friday, February 15, 2008

A season of preparation has led up to this weekend for the Belles, who travel to Michigan to compete in the MIAA championship meet over the weekend.

The meet started Thursday at the Holland Aquatic Center in Holland, Mich., and continues until Sunday.

Although the Belles have dropped four meets in a row, the season’s performances caused the Belles to have high hopes for the weekend.

Saint Mary’s coach Ryan Dombkowski said he’s excited to see how the all-freshman 400 medley team of Maggie Williams, Casey Niezer, Caroline Arness and Lauren Hartman perform after they crushed the school record time by over three seconds in their last meet.

“This combination could look to put ten seconds between them and our previous school record at our conference championship meet, something that is almost unheard of in swimming,” Dombkowski said

Junior captain Melissa Gerbeth will attempt to defend her title in the 1,650 meter this weekend; Gerbeth won the event last season.

The Belles’ major competition includes Hope, who will host the meet and is undefeated in conference meets this season, and Calvin, whose only loss came against Hope earlier in the season.

Dombkowski said having a couple weeks of rest was crucial to helping his team succeed this weekend. He said the team was injured at the end of the season and the rest provided by the two weeks off would allow his team to heal and get ready for its biggest match of the year.