Belles season ends at Great Lakes regional

The Saint Mary’s cross country team finished 19th of 34 teams at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional. Fellow MIAA school No. 19 Hope College, who won the conference title the week prior, hosted a cold and snowy affair as temperatures dropped into the 30s on Saturday.

On the individual front, Saint Mary’s placed five of its seven runners in the top 150 of 247 total participants. The team’s best individual effort came from junior Amanda Tracy who ran a 23:26.5 to set a personal record. The time was a 14-second improvement on her previous PR. She was the only Belle to place in the top 100 finishers.

Seniors Angela Bannan and Anna DeMars closed their cross-country careers on a high note. Both set personal records in their final collegiate meet. Sophomore Susanna Bernovich and freshman Carly Davis also set personal bests. Overall, five Belles had career days in the cold conditions.

The 19th-placed team finish was the best performance at a regional championship by the Belles since a 17th-place during the 2019 edition. The result came on the back of a 6th-place finish at the MIAA Championships held on Oct. 29.

Outside of Saint Mary’s, No. 25 John Carroll took home the regional team title. No. 23 Calvin and hosting Hope rounded out the top three. Hope’s Anastasia Tucker also took home the individual title. Her 20:46.0 was the only sub-21 mark for the 6k race.

With the NCAA announcing championship qualifiers on Sunday, it’s official that the Belles will be shut out of the national championships. As such, their season came to an end on Saturday. A pair of sixth-place meet finishes proved the high watermark for the 2022 season.

Contact José Sánchez Córdova at


Saint Mary’s XC begins season at Manchester Hokum Karen

Last Thursday, the Saint Mary’s cross country team began their 2022 season in the annual Manchester Hokum Karen. It was a hot evening in North Manchester, Indiana, a town of a few thousand west of Fort Wayne and south of South Bend.

On the women’s side of the competition, Saint Mary’s athletes competed alongside runners from Huntington University, and Manchester University, the meet’s host.

There was no overall team score for the event. Instead, the race was run relay-style with two teammates pairing up to alternate running one-mile loops for a total of six miles. Each of the three woman’s collegiate teams participating was represented by five pairs of runners.

Two pairs of runners competing for the Huntington University Foresters took the first and second prizes of the race. Both these pairs averaged just under six-minute miles. The duo of Shelby Christman and Carmen Trier came in first with a time of 35:32.1. Abby Mays and Addy Wiley finished second with a time just five seconds slower.

The Saint Mary’s duo of junior Amanda Tracy and freshman Isabella Auch was good for a third-place finish at a time of 39:00.6. Tracy, a junior, stamped the Belles’ quickest numbers of the day, posting miles times of 6:03.7, 6:20.6 and 6:28.3. Tracy’s strong showing is no surprise. The Illinois native finished last season’s efforts with a personal best at the NCAA Great Lakes regional competition. Auch meanwhile, a first-year, finished with mile times of 6:29.9, 6:46.4 and 6:51.4, respectively.

Pairs of runners from Manchester took home fourth and fifth places. The Saint Mary’s duo of senior Alexa Zeese and senior Anna DeMars just missed out on a top-five finish with a time of 39:33.8. The senior Belles ran at a remarkably consistent pace. Neither of the athletes finished a mile slower than 6:42.1. Zeese, recording three times all within five seconds of one another, posted a negative split time from her second to third mile.

The Saint Mary’s couple of sophomore Brigid Hull and senior Julia Bobosky took eighth. And the first-year pair of Mary Weber and Carly Davis took 10th. Senior Julia Crowley and sophomore Abby Seaton wrapped up the field for the Belles with a 13th-place finish.

Up next, the Saint Mary’s cross country team will travel north to Grand Rapids, Michigan, for the Calvin Knight Invitational on Saturday. The National Catholic Invitational, hosted at Notre Dame, is also coming around on the schedule soon enough on Sept. 16.

Though in a loaded conference, Saint Mary’s returned five of their seven scoring runners from the NCAA regionals last year. They should expect to be completive in upcoming races with the help of their first-year and veteran runners alike.

Peter Breen

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