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SMC Swimming and Diving: Belles take third place at first meet of the year

Cory Bernard | Monday, October 11, 2010

Saint Mary’s opened up their 2010-11 season at the University of Notre Dame’s Dennis Stark Relays on Friday night. New head coach Mark Benishek’s first taste of collegiate swimming came against one of the most competitive fields his team will face all season.

Competing against D-1 opponents Notre Dame, Illinois State and Valparaiso, the Belles finished in third place with 112 team points. The Irish took first with a score of 220, followed by Indiana State and Valparaiso with 196 points and 118 points, respectively.

As a team, Saint Mary’s scored third-place points in the 400-yard medley relay, due to a Notre Dame disqualification, as well as the 400 backstroke relay and the 400 free relay.

Individually, junior diver Tina Koswenda impressed, finishing third in the women’s combo diving event with a score of 418.65.

Given the multiple NCAA divisions separating Saint Mary’s and the rest of the field on Friday, the Belles can move on to MIAA competition with a certain degree of confidence.

Saint Mary’s looks forward more than a week to practice before their next competition, the MIAA relays, a non-scored meet hosted by Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich.