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Belles drop close match in final event

Joe Meixell | Sunday, February 1, 2009

In their second to last meet of the season, the Belles fell to the Kalamazoo Hornets 155-145 in a match decided by the last event.

Coming into the 400-yard freestyle relay, the final competition, the Belles trailed the Hornets by five, a deficit that could have been overcome by a victory in the 400. Unfortunately for the Belles, they were edged in the event, and therefore dropped their third head-to-head MIAA meet this season.

Despite the loss, the Belles had a successful meet, recording 10 season-best times.

The team started off quickly, setting two of those times in the first two events of the night. Sophomore Maggie Williams and freshmen Audrey Dalrymple, Eva Cavadini and Barbara Beidler started off the night with a season-best time in the 400-medley relay.

Then, in the next event, senior Melissa Gerbeth posted her season-best time in the 1,000-freestyle event, which gave her first-place honors. Gerbeth was also victorious in the 500-freestyle competition, in which she swam 5:22.87, another season-best.

Dalrymple led the Belles with three first-place finishes, one in the 100-breaststroke, another in the 200-breaststroke and the last in the 200-individual medley, which was also a season-best time.

Williams was the only other Belle to achieve first-place honors with a victory in the 100-backstroke.

Many other Belles improved on their season-best time in the meet against the Hornets, a good sign as the Belles come closer to the MIAA Championships. Cavadini improved her 400-medley time, while Beidler recorded her best race of the year in the 50-freestyle.

Senior diver Leah Bocinsky improved her scores in both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving events. Another senior, Kate Orbon, cut two-tenths of a second off of her 100-freestyle time and sophomore Caroline Arness also topped her season-best time in the 100-butterfly.

The Belles will try to keep improving to make a strong showing to end the season, as they will take on conference opponent Olivet this weekend before competing in the MIAA Championships Feb. 18-20 at Notre Dame.