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Mitchell Aquatic Club's Gage Nelson competes in the boys 11 and over 200-meter individual medley at the Corn Palace Invitational Friday at the Mitchell Aquatic Center. (Nick McCutcheon/Republic)

Invite provides MAC state meet tune up

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The Corn Palace Invitational swim meet kicked off Friday and will run through the weekend as the Mitchell Aquatic Club gets a tune up for hosting the state championship swim meet next month.

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The Mitchell Aquatic Center is playing host to more than 12 teams and 320 swimmers in the three-day event that continues at 8:45 a.m. today. Along with a handful of 19- and 20-year-olds, the swimmers mostly range from 6 to 18 years old.

"There are a lot of kids here for this event that wouldn't normally be here, but they came from out of town to compete," MAC coach Kyle Margheim said about the participation in this weekend's event heading into the state meet." For our parents and coaches, this is an opportunity to see what works for this meet and how we can make the state meet more special for the kids."

The state meet will be held at the Mitchell Aquatic Center July 25 to 27.

After spending the winter indoors, Margheim said the MAC swimmers are enjoying the opportunity to get outside and compete in front of family and friends.

The indoor pool in Mitchell is not set up for diving and the training outside at the six-lane, 50-meter pool is a more all-around experience, according to Margheim.

"There is just something about having a real pool that makes practice that much better," Margheim said.

The MAC participation numbers grow in the summer compared to the winter months, according to the coach, who added that the passion is really high to keep the program moving forward.

Margheim said a number of his swimmers should have a strong meet, including Christian Fossum, Karlie Brown and Tevyn Waddell. He added he is excited to see how his younger swimmers progress and hopefully qualify this weekend for the state meet.

Mitchell last hosted the state meet in 2010, the year before Margheim took over the program. Margheim expects around 500 swimmers at the event based on the numbers that made it to the winter state meet.

"It's exciting to have the best swimmers in the state coming here," Margheim said. "Anytime you have an event like this, it's important to show what Mitchell has to offer."

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