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SMC Cross Country: Saint Mary’s finishes 17th

Laura Coletti | Monday, September 10, 2012

The Belles participated in the highly competitive Calvin Invitational on Saturday and placed 17th in a field of 22 teams.

Host Calvin won the tournament, while Division II squad Grand Valley State placed second. Junior Jessica Biek was the top finisher for the Belles with a time of 19:15.7 for 50th place overall in a field of over 300 runners. Sophomore Samee Chittenden was the next Saint Mary’s runner to finish with a collegiate personal record time of 20:33.1, good for 142nd place. Belles coach Jackie Bauters said she was happy with how her team raced.

“Overall, I’m happy with our team’s results,” she said. “While we were hoping to race better than the results showed, especially against some of our MIAA competitors, I think we gained a lot in the first meet.”

Bauters said that while some of her runners didn’t have the days they hoped for, as a team, the Belles felt good about how they finished out their first five-kilometer race of the year.

“Several of the girls had [personal records] in the 5K this week,” Bauters said. “Not everyone had the day they hoped for, but in breaking down the race afterwards I feel like everyone gleaned something positive from the race. “

Although Bauters was pleased with her team, she acknowledged that her team still has some work to do.

“As a team we are not in prime racing shape right now, but I feel confident with the work we are doing as a team,” she said. “I feel like we will be prepared when the races count and take the enthusiasm this team brings every day to get us to that point.”

The Belles will return to action this Friday, when they participate in Notre Dame’s annual National Catholic Championship.

Contact Laura Coletti at [email protected]