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SMC Swimming and Diving: Belles close regular season against Albion

Joe Wirth | Thursday, February 2, 2012

With only one meet remaining before the all-important MIAA championships, the Belles have only a short time to hit their stride as they host conference rival Albion.

Belles coach Mark Benishek said he has high hopes for the contest.

“My expectation are the same for all our meets,” Benishek said. “I want to see my swimmers swim their fastest and never give up on themselves or their teammates.”

The Belles (1-6, 0-5 MIAA) were defeated by Alma and Calvin in their last competition two weeks ago and have not raced competitively since. Despite the defeats, there were some individual bright spots for Saint Mary’s. Performances from upperclassmen have been a strong point all season for the Belles, and senior Megan Price and junior Kristyn Gerbeth continued that trend in the Calvin and Alma meet. Price had two second-place finishes in 1000- and 500-meter freestyle, while Gerbeth stood out with a second-place finish in the 100-meter butterfly with a time of 1:03.71.

The Belles need another strong performance from the upperclassmen against Albion to garner some momentum going into the season-ending meet. Benishek said he counts on his senior leaders to set the course for the rest of the team going into big meets.

“Our senior leadership has been a strong point all year. [Senior swimmers] Katie Donovan, Megan Price and Audrey Dalrymple have all had strong performances,” Benishek said. “Their senior leadership has been great and they have backed it up with strong swims. We know we can always count on them for motivation.”

The Britons (1-3, 1-3 MIAA) are coming off a loss against Calvin in a conference meet, but pose a definite challenge for Saint Mary’s. Although Albion’s record is not formidable, the Belles have only defeated them once since 2005.

The meet will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Rolfs Aquatic Center on Notre Dame’s campus.