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SMC Cross Country: Belles prep for MIAA championship event

Maija Gustin | Friday, October 29, 2010

The Belles hope to conquer their division foes and secure their best conference finish in program history at the MIAA Championships this weekend.

Saint Mary’s currently sits in third place in the MIAA, and will face Calvin, Hope, Adrian, Albion, Alma, Kalamazoo, Trine and Olivet.

The Belles enter the race fresh off a second-place finish at the Manchester Invitational two weeks ago. Manchester College edged Saint Mary’s by just seven points. Though they were unable to win, the Belles set 12 new personal records.

The team will turn to seniors Julia Kenney and Catie Salyer, junior Joanne Almond and sophomore Emma Baker — the top four runners from the Manchester Invitational — to lead them to a win. At Manchester, Kenney finished third overall with a time of 23:09. Almond finished sixth at 23:34. Baker and Salyer were neck and neck to secure the ninth and tenth places at 24:08 and 24:09, respectively.

Belles coach Jacqueline Bauters said that the Manchester Invitational was one of the team’s best performances of the season. With the Belles well prepared physically, she is now focused on preparing them mentally for the MIAA Championships.

“Really, this past week was a lot of making sure we’re healthy and mentally focused on what we are going out to achieve,” Bauters said. “The team has, in my opinion, put together a memorable season thus far and I’d really like to see them cap it off with some real success in our MIAA competition.”

She said a hallmark of the Belles game has been their camaraderie and teamwork.

“We work a lot on working together and hopefully that will carry over come race time for some great outcomes,” Bauters said.

The Belles head to host Calvin College Saturday for the 2010 MIAA Championships.