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SMC?Swimming:Belles finish fifth at conference meet

Eric Prister | Monday, February 23, 2009

Saint Mary’s finished in fifth place at the three-day MIAA Championship meet, losing to fourth place Olivet by only two points.

The two-point margin was decided in the final event of the championships, the 400-yard freestyle relay, in which the Belles fell to Olivet by two and a half seconds.

Despite finishing fifth, the Belles were able to break 15 school records at the meet, including five by freshman Audrey Dalrymple, four by freshman Eva Cavadini and three by sophomore Maggie Williams.

“Due to the closeness of [the loss to Olivet], I believe that next season we will work even harder to accomplish goals as a team, rather than channeling the focus on our individual goals,” Dalrymple said. “Although, as a whole everyone swam very well at conference and we broke a lot of school records.”

Dalrymple, Cavadini and Williams have performed consistently well for the Belles throughout the season, and provide a good outlook on the Belles’ future due to their youth. Dalrymple cites her dedication to her sport as the reason for her team’s and her own success in the championship.

“I find that at a championship swim meet it is a great opportunity to showcase one’s hard work over the entire season and channel it into those final races,” she said. “I am able to perform at the best of my ability because after training so intensely I can stand behind the blocks knowing that I have done everything in my power to prepare for the swim ahead and all that is left is the race itself, which is the fun part.”

Another Belle who had a career day in the tournament was freshman Barbara Beidler. She broke three personal records, including the 50-yard, the 100-yard and the 200-yard freestyle events, along with four other relay events.

This was the final meet for the Belles, but Dalrymple will continue to compete. Her times in the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke qualify her for “B” cuts in the Division III Championships, which will be held March 18-21 at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.