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SMC Cross Country: Saint Mary’s finishes 7th at MIAA Jamboree

Walker Carey | Monday, September 26, 2011

Saint Mary’s finished in seventh place at the MIAA Jamboree on Saturday. The event, held at the Zollner Golf Course on the campus of Trine University, is important as it makes up one-third of the team scores that will decide the conference champion for the season.

The Belles finished with a team score of 160 on the day, which was a mere three points behind sixth place Kalamazoo.

“[Saturday] was a tough, but good day for us,” Belles coach Jackie Bauters said. “The competition in the MIAA is what I believe to be the best it’s ever been since I started coaching [at Saint Mary’s] seven years ago.”

Senior Joanne Almond led all Belles runners as she finished 20th overall (24:43). Junior Julia Kenney was not too far behind her, finishing 32nd overall (25:10) and junior Emma Baker placed 50th overall (26:14).

Bauters was very impressed with the performance of freshman Samee Chittenden, who finished 68th overall (27:07).

“It was great to see [Chittenden] step up and score for the team,” Bauters said. “We need everyone stepping up and contributing to have good team performances.”

While Bauters was not pleased with where the team finished, she is happy with the improvement that continues to take place.

“Our team finish was not where we would have liked to have been,” Bauters said. “However, right now as a team our focus is to continue to improve – individually and as a pack.”

While the Belles’ team successes may not be visible at this point, Bauters believes her squad is making visible progress.

“I think our team is working very hard and are committed to having a great season,” Bauters said. “The successes we achieve may not be as visible through our team’s overall placing in the conference at this point — but that doesn’t mean it isn’t going to be a great season.”

The Belles will return to competition Saturday when they will participate in the Sean Earl Lakefront Invitational hosted by Loyola University in Chicago.

Contact Walker Carey at [email protected]