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SMC Cross Country: Coach impressed with team despite finish

Walker Carey | Sunday, October 30, 2011

Saint Mary’s ran to a seventh-place finish in Saturday’s MIAA championships.

The Belles’ finish was identical to their seventh-place finish earlier in the season at the MIAA Jamboree. The results of both meets are used to name a conference champion. The MIAA Jamboree accounts for one-third of the team score and the conference championships makes up the other two-thirds.

Despite the seventh place finish, Belles coach Jackie Bauters was quite impressed with her team’s performance.

“While it may not be evident in the overall rankings, the Belles had a great day,” Bauters said. “It was a really fun weekend and great to see all of the hard work pay off.”

Individually, each Belle accomplished either a career-best time or a season personal-best time.

Senior Joanne Almond led the squad, placing 33rd overall with a time of 23:22. Almond’s time established a new personal best, surpassing her previous record by 11 seconds.

Almond believes the team’s preparation contributed to its success.

“The field went out fast,” Almond said, “but we had practiced running positive splits and we were really prepared to compete.”

Junior Julia Kenney finished 39th with a time of 23:39. She reiterated the importance of the team’s preparation.

“We all came well prepared after many weeks of quality workouts and preparation,” Kenney said. “It was very rewarding to see all of our hard work come together.”

The MIAA conference championship represented the Belles’ final regular season race. Kenney believes that the team is now fully focused on the postseason.

“We now look toward regionals,” she said. “Over these next two weeks, we will continue to improve upon our strengths and weaknesses so that we can finish off the season on a strong note.”

The Belles will return to competition at the NCAA Regionals on Nov. 12 at Oberlin College.

Contact Walker Carey at [email protected]