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SMC Swimming: Belles end season with win

Megan Finneran | Monday, January 25, 2010

This weekend brought improvements for the Belles on many fronts. In its last home meet of the season, against Albion Friday, Saint Mary’s took first place finishes in eight of the night’s 13 events and tied the Britons 115-115.

The night began with relays, in which the Belles won second and third place. From there the rest of the meet only got better.

Coming in, the swimmers said they were confident in their abilities as a whole.

“I believe our team is a group of girls who are motivated and hardworking both in and out of the pool, and are always supportive of our teammates in every aspect,” freshman Caila Poythress said.

Senior Sara Niemann started off a long stretch of first-place finishes for the team when she pulled ahead by more than 12 seconds in the 1,000-yard freestyle. Freshman Katie Griffin then took first in the 200-yard freestyle. Senior Meredith Lierz, who returned this weekend after a knee injury, came back strong with a season-best time of 26.78 for first place in the 50-yard freestyle. The fourth straight first-place victory came from freshman Ellie Watson in the 200-yard individual medley.

The motivation behind the first place finishes came from the support of all the ladies combined.

“We are like one big family. We support each other in our everyday lives,” Watson said.

Freshman Genevieve Spittler began a series of close races when she finished just half of a second in front of her competitors in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:21.94.

Immediately after this, sophomore Barbaba Beidler edged in only nine hundredths of a second before the other swimmers to take first at 58.72 seconds in the 100-yard freestyle.

Griffin then took first in the 200-yard backstroke, racking up her second first-place finish for the day. Watson took first in the 500-yard freestyle at 5:30.81, closely followed by Niemann, who took second, at 5:35.94.

When Albion took first, second and third in the 200-yard breaststroke, the Belles lost their large lead, and led by five, 109-104. They needed a first place finish in the final event of the day, the 200-yard freestyle relay, to clinch the win, but lost to Albion by 0.27 of a second.

The Belles did, however, take second and third in the relay to end the meet at 115-115.