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SMC Cross-Country: Belles hope youth can replace Gray

Kate Grabarek | Friday, August 22, 2008

Saint Mary’s will look to continue its upswing as a program without the most decorated runner in school history.

Megan Gray became the first Belles runner to qualify for the NCAA championships and was named a first-team all-MIAA selection – accomplishing each feat in both her junior and senior seasons.

“The team is definitely missing Megan,” Belles coach Jackie Bauters said. “It’s always hard when someone as talented and influential as Megan graduates, but this should be a great year for us to develop our younger talent and maximize the potential in our upperclassmen.”

Last year’s standout freshman, Samantha Wieczorek, is currently out with a knee injury so Bauters will look for some new faces to lead a team that includes four freshmen.

“Unfortunately our No. 2, Sam Wieczorek, from last year is still recovering from an after-season injury, so we’ll be looking for people to step up in many areas,” Bauters said. “I’m looking forward to seeing how our freshman can contribute to the team. Next, I think there are some sophomores and juniors that are still discovering their potential -Catie Salyer, Clare McVey…the list goes on of sophomores that have so much more in them.”

The Belles will have six seniors this season, including returning captains Caitlin Brodmerkel and Alicen Miller.

Saint Mary’s will also host two events – the season-opening Alumnae event on Aug. 30 and the MIAA Jamboree on Sept. 26.