Belles to run Calvin Knight
Alex Carson | Wednesday, September 10, 2014
After a second-place finish at the Wabash Hokum Karem on Aug. 30, the Belles will head to their second meet of the season Saturday in Grand Rapids, Mich. to compete in the 27-team Calvin Knight Invitational.
The Knight Invitational — hosted by Calvin, a fellow MIAA school — is the only five-kilometer race of the season for Saint Mary’s, and Belles coach Jackie Bauters said she is eager for the opponents her team will go up against this weekend.
“We are really looking forward to racing at Calvin this weekend,” Bauters said. “It should be a great opportunity for the team to race against some great competition.”
In addition to Calvin, the Belles will face conference rival Alma, as well as regionally-ranked squads in Case Western and DePauw.
At the Wabash Hokum Karem nearly two weeks ago — a six-mile relay race in which teams of two runners alternate “legs” — Saint Mary’s was led by sophomore Brittany Beeler and freshman Reilly Pieri. The pair put in a time of 36:54.6 while the Belles also got scoring contributions from the pairs of freshmen Natalie Hawks and Caitlin Blum and juniors Allie Danhof and Katelyn Dunn, who finished in 10th and 11th place respectively. However, Bauters said the race was more of an opportunity for her team to get ready for the rest of the year.
“We really use the Hokum Karem as a fun, low-pressure season opener to get back in the racing mindset,” Bauters said.
When the Belles travel north this weekend, they will be running at the same course where the MIAA conference championships will be held Nov. 1. That race, like every other race the Belles will run after the Knight Invitational, will be six kilometers long and Bauters anticipates seeing how her group of runners performs on the course.
“We have a very large pack and I’m interested to see how they work together as well as how we can maximize this pack as the season progresses,” Bauters said.
And not only is the course the same one the Belles will be running seven weeks later, but the weather might prove to be similar — Saturday’s forecast calls for a temperature in the mid-50s when the gun sounds at 10:45 a.m. — and Bauters thinks that her runners can post solid times in the conditions.
“It’s looking to be a nice fall day, so I hope to see some great results,” Bauters said.