On Saturday, April 22, 2017, the Southwestern Spartans traveled to the 2017 Dick Young Invitational, hosted by Grinnell College in Grinnell. The Spartans maintained their impressive second half of the season spurt at Grinnell with numerous top eight finishes on both the men's and women's side.
Competing at his best for the men was freshman hurdler Anthony Klocke. Klocke swept the hurdle events, winning both the 110-meter high hurdles and the 400-meter intermediate hurdles, with times of 15.23 and 57.37 respectively. The latter of the two was a personal best time improvement by two seconds. Ronald Henderson and Jeremy Newton tied for second place in the long jump, each achieving a mark of 6.13 meters. Henderson and Newton went on to score more points; Henderson finished first place in the high jump, while Newton scored in the 400m and the javelin throw, finishing sixth in both events. The men's 4x100 team, consisting of Newton, Dylan Lucas, Malik McClellon, and Andrew Conover, placed fourth at the competition with a personal best time of 44.61 seconds. Conover went on to score points in both the 100- and 200-meter sprints placing fifth and seventh respectively. In the distance events, Gabriel Esser achieved a new school record in the 5000m while finishing fifth in the competition clocking a time of 16 minutes and 43 seconds.
The women competed admirably at Grinnell with just four females earning 51 team points. The top performer on the women's side was freshman Kimberly Zepeda, who scored points for the Spartans in four different events. Zepeda also achieved a school record-breaking performance in the 1500 meter run, finishing third place with a time of 5 minutes, 24 seconds. Zepeda was also impressive in the 800-meter run placing seventh, the 5000m run finishing second overall, and then went on to assist the 4x100 meter relay team to earn second place. Sisilia Seavula and Younis Bese took first and second place in the 100-meter sprint, along with performing well in the 4x100 meter relay. Throwing well for the women was freshman Cristina Chapi. She finished fourth in the discus throw and fifth in the shot put.
For team scores, the men finished fifth of seven teams, earning 88 points in a very close and exciting competition, just 13 points behind second place. The women finished fifth of seven teams, tallying an impressive 51 points and outperforming Faith Baptist Bible College, as well as North Iowa Area CC.
Next weekend, Ronald Henderson will have the opportunity to compete in the high jump at the prestigious Drake Relays on Saturday, April 29. The rest of the team will compete at Simpson College on Friday, April 28.
"We will begin to taper, as the season is nearing its end and we look to peak at regionals," said Spartan Coach Jordan Strofaci.
Following the regional meet, the Spartans will still have Ronald Henderson and Sisilia Seavula representing SWCC at the NJCAA national championships in Hutchinson, KS, on May 19 and 20.