Cross Country Recap

2013 Season in Review

This past fall was a very successful season for the Saint Mary’s cross country team. Not only did the Belles match their highest conference finish ever, but the team also won the Manchester Invitational and posted their best NCAA Division III Regional finish in program history.

At the end of September, the Belles earned their best finish in a conference event since 2010 with a fourth-place showing at the MIAA Jamboree. But finishing just 13 points behind third-place Alma, the team knew that third place was well within reach at the MIAA Championships five weeks later. The team had an all-around impressive performance as they raced to their first invitational win since the 2007 season. Jessica Biek was the individual winner of the race by two seconds as the Belles took first, third, seventh, eleventh, and twelfth individually for the winning team score of 34.

That victory propelled the team to an impressive day at the MIAA Championship race two weeks later. The Belles beat out Alma by just two points to claim third place at the conference championship. With the championship race result counting two-thirds toward the final conference standings, the Belles clinched a third-place finish overall in the league. That third-place finish matched the best finish in program history, which was accomplished in 2010.

The team wrapped up the season with a solid 14th place finish at the NCAA Division III Regional race. The finish was the best in program history. Prior to this season, the Belles had finished as high as 15th.

Jessica Biek finished her career with several accolades throughout the fall. While leading the Belles in every race for the second consecutive season and setting a handful of personal record times, the senior earned a spot on the All-MIAA Second Team as well as the All-Great Lakes Region squad by virtue of her placement in the conference and NCAA races. She became the sixth runner in program history to earn All-MIAA honors and only the third Belle to be all-conference and all-region in the same season.

Newcomer Brittany Beeler had a breakout season as she was the Belles’ second finisher in each race of the 2013 season. Allie Danhof, Samee Chittenden, and Katelyn Dunn were all scoring finishers for the Belles on at least four occasions throughout the season. Colette Curtis, Erin Knauf, and Kathryn Marshall each found themselves among the team’s top five finishers during the 2013 campaign as well.

For the year, the Belles’ six returning runners from the 2012 season posted 17 personal record times. All six of those returners set a personal record time at the MIAA Championship race alone.