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SMC Swimming and Diving: Saint Mary’s finishes first day in ninth

Peter Steiner | Friday, November 30, 2012

After the first day of competition, the Belles sit in ninth place at the Calvin Winter Invitational.

Thursday’s events included the 800-yard freestyle relay and the 1,650-yard freestyle.

Composed of senior Ellie Watson, sophomore Sarah Thompson, freshman Megan Knobloch and freshman Carolyn Neville, the Belles 800-yard freestyle relay team finished 20th with a time of 8:20.51. Senior Liz Palmer took home the Belles’ top finish in the 1,650-yard freestyle, placing 29th with a time of 11:43.49.

The Calvin Winter Invitational is a benchmark event for the team, Belles coach Mark Benishek said.

“[This meet] is an evaluation point for us,” Benishek said. “We are at midseason and it gives us a point to see where we are at.

“At the point we are at, we are always hoping for some fast times and for looking for everybody to keep moving “

With the invitational occurring over a three-day span, Benishek recognized the need to tailor his team’s training schedule to the event.

“The girls got some rest over thanksgiving break and we went a little bit lighter in our training in the three days leading up to this meet,” Benishek said. “They’ve got plenty of rest for this one.”

With two days left in the invitational and the remaining conference season to prepare for, the Belles still have many unanswered questions, Benishek said.

“After the meet we will evaluate each other as a team, especially me as the coach in my first year,” Benishek said. “What do we need to tweak? What comes from their training schedule on a daily basis and how do we prepare for the championship portion of our season and our conference finals in February?”

The Calvin Winter Invitational continues today at 6 p.m. at the Venema Aquatic Center in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Contact Peter Steiner at [email protected]