April 28, 2013

Brennan wins NCAC heptathlon

Denison freshman Aedin Brennan captured her second North Coast Athletic Conference Combined Event title after scoring a school-record 4,629 points in the heptathlon hosted by Ohio Wesleyan this weekend.

On Saturday, Brennan competed in the first four events of the heptathlon: the 100 hurdles, high jump, shot put and 200-meter dash.  The DU rookie posted career-best performances in all four of Saturday's events.  Brennan opened the day with a fifth-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles.  She finished the race in 15.86, successfully shaving 11 hundredths of a second off her pervious personal best time.

In the second event, she took third after clearing 5'2.25".  Despite posting a top-3 performance, Brennan found herself in third place in the overall standings and 134 points behind Ohio Wesleyan's Emily Amburgey.

The Big Red freshman needed only one event to erase the deficit.  In the shot put, Brennan threw the shot put 34'9.75", which surpassed her previous PR by almost a foot and a half.  Additionally, her toss bested second-place Sarah Moss from Allegheny by almost six feet.  With her victory in the shot, Brennan clung to a three-point lead over Amburgey.  In Saturday's final event, the rookie posted a second-place finish after completing the 200 in 26.66, a tenth of a second faster than her previous best performance.  That finish extended Brennan's lead to 76 points heading into the final day.

Brennan opened Sunday with arguably her best event, the long jump.  Earlier in the season, the freshman broke the school record with a leap of 17'4.25".  On Sunday, she surpassed that mark by five and a half inches en route to a first-place finish.  Amburgey took second in the event, but Brennan still added to her lead, which stood at 172 points through five events.

The Denison rookie extended her advantage after taking third in the javelin after a toss of 84-01.  The javelin was the only event that Brennan didn't post a PR performance.  With one event to go, the freshman had a 236-point lead over Amburgey.  In the 800-meter run, Brennan recorded a personal-best time of 2:21.58, which earned her 802 points and secured the heptathlon victory.  In addition to securing the win, her 800 time also moved her into eighth-place on DU's top performers list.

Brennan's 4,629 points surpassed the previous school mark of 4,205 points that she set at the Washington & Lee Carnival on March 22-23.  Additionally, her point total moved her from 22nd to sixth in the Division III national rankings for the heptathlon.  The top 22 athletes that declare for the heptathlon will compete at the NCAA Division III Championship on May 23-25 in La Crosse, Wis.

With the win, Brennan earned Denison 10 points that will carry over to the NCAC Championship next weekend in Gambier, Ohio.  Ohio Wesleyan will enter the event with 11 points thanks to performances from Amburgey (3rd), last year's winner Clare Duffy (5th), and Sara Johnson (8th).