SMC SWIMMING: Belles sting Hornets in historic win
By NATALIE BAILEY
Saint Mary's continues to make history, claiming victory against Kalamazoo for the first time on Saturday, 132 to 91. The Belles wrap up their dual meet season with a record of 3-3 with two other wins against Olivet and Albion earlier in the season.
In their last dual meet of the season, the Belles faced the adversity of missing a top swimmer and competing at a difficult stage in their training schedule. Despite this adversity, many swimmers turned in season-best performances.
"They were ready to go," said head coach Gregg Petcoff.
Sophomore Julie McGranahan dropped 10 seconds in the 200-yard butterfly with a first-place time of 2 minutes, 22.11 seconds. This time places her at fifth in the conference for the event, which should help in seeding at the conference meet.
Saint Mary's won both diving events and seven of the 11 swimming events. Megan Ramsey's time of 2:17.83 won the 200-yard IM and led the Belles to three of the top four positions. Ramsey's time of 5:20.57 won the 500-yard freestyle and she was also a member of the winning 400-yard freestyle relay team.
In the 200-yard breastroke, the Belles swept the top three positions with junior Lauren Smith finishing first with a time of 2:38.02. Smith took second behind Ramsey in the 500-yard freestyle.
While Kalamazoo is admittedly a smaller and weaker team than last year, Saint Mary's is stronger than in past years. A major difference from last year is the change of the coaching staff. This is Petcoff's first year at Saint Mary's and sophomore Chloe Lenihan finds his presence to have made a difference.
"Gregg is very experienced and very knowledgeable about the sport of swimming," said Lenihan. "He is excellent at working on the line-ups and he knows when to push us and how hard."
Armed with the best record in recent history, Saint Mary's swim team is filled with confidence as it enters the final stretch of its season. In a conference with all coeducational institutions, Saint Mary's tends to be overlooked.
"We are all pumped for [the Conference meet]," said Lenihan. "We want to prove to the other schools that they can't ignore Saint Mary's because we are an all-girls school."
Saint Mary's will participate in the MIAA Swimming and Diving Championships Feb. 21-23.
All Sports Stories for Tuesday, February 12, 2002