SMC vs. Albion
Belles and Brits Battle to Draw
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's swim team tied conference opponent Albion 115-115 in the Belles' final dual meet of the season on Friday night.
The Belles had several impressive individual efforts on the night as they took first place in eight of the 13 events.
After Saint Mary's relay squads took second and third place in the opening event of the night, the Belles took first place in the next four events in a row. Getting the ball rolling for the Belles was senior Sara Niemann, who coasted to the win by more than 12 seconds with a time of 11:31.57 in the 1000 freestyle. Freshman Katie Griffin then took first in the 200 freestyle for Saint Mary's with a 2:01.80 performance. Senior Meredith Lierz followed up Griffin with the third straight freestyle victory in the 50 free with a season-best time of 26.78. Freshman Ellie Watson made if four straight first place finishes with her 2:21.19 in the 200 individual medley.
When the first round of diving was completed, the Belles got right back to business by taking the next four events. Despite the efforts of an Albion counterpart to close the gap, freshman Gen Spittler touched the wall first in the 200 butterfly with a time of 2:21.94 for a victory decided by just over five tenths of a second. The margin of victory was even narrower in the 100 freestyle as sophomore Barbara Beidler edged out the competition by nine hundredths of a second with her 58.72 performance in the event. Griffin posted her second victory of the evening (2:17.67) in the 200 backstroke for the Belles. Saint Mary's then made it a clean sweep of all of the individual freestyle events on the night as Watson took first in the 500 free with a 5:30.81 while Niemann took second in the event in 5:35.94.
The Brits went 1-2-3 in the 200 breaststroke to make the meet exciting as they cut the Belles' lead to just five points heading into the evening's final event (109-104). The Belles could have taken the meet with a first-place finish in the 200 freestyle relay, but Albion finished in 1:45.69 - just 0.27 of a second faster than the Belles' "A" relay. Saint Mary's did take second and third in the event, however, to keep the Brits from posting the come-from-behind victory to create the final 115-115 tie.
The Belles will finish up the regular season next Friday at Calvin when they will take on both the host Knights as well as the Scots of Alma College at 6:00 p.m.