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Southwest Valley tunes-up for regular season at Graceland University

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By Geoff Preston

The break between winter and spring seasons ends this week, with the first outdoor track meets of the season starting.
Southwest Valley got a tune-up before the outdoor season Saturday when it went to Graceland University for the Graceland Jenner Invitational.
Both the boys and girls teams went to the meet, and girls’ head coach, Mat Beu, said the tune-up is especially helpful for young athletes who might not have had the experience of a race day before.
“It’s the little things like when to warm-up, managing your diet and preparation and things like that,” he said. “Getting that out of the way gives them a leg-up on the competition.”
The race fell during Southwest Valley’s spring break, so an event that usually sees the entire team go only had a few participants.
Those few participants did well. The girls sent five athletes and the boys sent 10.
For the boys, Tony Klocke brought home a victory in the 55 meter hurdles and Ricky Almaguer finished 12th of 39 participants with Wyatt McAlpin finishing 13th in the same event. Almaguer barely missed the finals of the 55-meter dash finishing in 11th in the preliminaries with the top 10 advancing.
Daniel Kinyon finished 17th of 21 participants in the 1600-meter run.
In the relays, the 4x200 meter relay team took home second in a field of 14, while the distance medley team finished seventh out of nine. The 4x800 meter relay team finished in seventh.
In the distance event, Kinyon placed 17th in the 800-meter dash.
Southwest Valley also had Almaguer in the long jump where he finished fifth of 17 participants, Andy Seals finished 17th of 23 in the shot-put.
The girls’ team sent five participants who fared well in their events. Kayela Wiechman was in the finals of the 55-meter dash, finishing in seventh, while also finishing seventh in the 200-meter dash with her teammate Renee Williams finishing 15th of 61 participants.
“Overall I thought we were good,” Beu said. “Wiechman made the finals for the 55, her and Renee Williams are ahead of where I thought they’d be on the 200.”
For the relays Southwest Valley finished fifth in the distance medley and the 4x400 meter relay.
Overall, Beu said this was a good opportunity to see where the team stands, and a way to shake off pre-competition jitters.
“For us it’s an opportunity to see where we’re at,” he said. “For the young kids, it’s a chance to see where we’re at, so when we go outdoors in April hopefully it’s not as intense for them.”
Beus said his team has gotten a little bit restless without the competition.
“We’ve been at this since the second week of February, and the kids are eager to compete,” he said. “ They’re tired of just working out.”
Beu said he looks forward to this meet because it’s unclassed, so teams from all over and of all sizes made the trip to Lamoni.
“We see teams from Missouri, Iowa, all over really,” he said.
At the conclusion of the day boys head coach Allen Naugle was happy with his team’s performance as well.
“I was really proud and happy with how hard our guys worked,” he said. “They definitely got us off to a nice start this season.”