Belles place third at Yellow Jacket Invite
By MOLLY McVOY
Assistant Sports Editor
Saint Mary's ran its way to a third-place finish at the Yellow Jacket Invitational at Defiance College last Saturday.
"It was a great team race," head coach Dave Barstis said. "It was a difficult, hilly course but they ran extremely well as a pack."
The most important outcome of the meet may not be Saint Mary's third-place finish, but the fact that it placed higher than Defiance College.
Defiance is a member of the MIAA and this is the first time Saint Mary's has defeated a conference team this season.
"It was good that we beat the one conference team that was there," junior Genevieve Yavello said. "That points us in a good direction for the championships."
Spring Arbor College won the meet, with Mississippi College coming in second place, ahead of Saint Mary's.
"That was the toughest course we've run," Yavello said. "We also had some injuries. So, under the circumstances, we ran very well."
Yavello was the Belles' top finisher, coming in 14th place with a time of 21 minutes. 45 seconds. Krista Hildebrand and Melissa Miller finished in 15th and 16th behind Yavello with times of 21:54 and 22:08 respectively. The Belles now look to their last race of the season, the MIAA championships on Oct. 30.
This will be the first time all of Saint Mary's runners will have the opportunity to run together this season against conference teams. At least one of their top runners has been injured or absent at the previous conference meets the Belles have run in.
Barstis is excited about the prospect of seeing all of his team run together at the championships.
"Everyone appears healthy so it looks like we can finally run the top 7 in the same race," he said.
Last season, Saint Mary's finished fifth in the championships. The Belles are looking to improve on their conference standing this season as they head into this weekend.
"We are really hoping to improve on our finishes this weekend," Yavello said.
All Sports Stories for Wednesday, October 27, 1999