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SMC Cross Country: Saint Mary’s finishes 11 of 16 at Calvin Invitational

Cory Bernard | Monday, September 19, 2011


The Belles took on a 16-team field Saturday in Grand Rapids, Mich., that featured some top Division-III programs. The Belles finished in 11th place, leaving the Calving Invitational with a better understanding of where they stand in the MIAA than before.

Fellow conference member and host No. 15 Calvin took first with a team score of 27. No. 35 Ohio Northern took second with 66 points. Saint Mary’s finished with 279 team points. Senior captain Joanne Almond led the Belles with a time of 18:42.6, good enough for a 23rd place individual finish.

Almond said she ran her best race.

“Individually, I am thrilled with my time,” she said. “I set a new personal best by 40 seconds.”

Almond said her teammates also impressed in their races.

“I am very proud of our team’s showing on Saturday,” she said. “I think that every single one of my teammates ran an excellent race.”

Though not an MIAA event, the Calvin Invitational included four schools from the conference. According to Almond, the results from the weekend showed the Belles how difficult their season will be.

“The field was larger than our conference,” Almond said. “Based on the teams that were there, I think that the MIAA will be extremely competitive this year.”

With their first MIAA event coming this weekend in the form of the MIAA Jamboree at Trine University, the Belles now begin their season in earnest. Almond said results from the Calvin Invitational will determine how they train in preparation for conference action.

“Saturday’s invitational was a great indication of where our fitness is right now,” she said. “We will use our times from Saturday to tailor our workouts in preparation for our big races.”

Contact Cory Bernard at [email protected]