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DU competes at Kenyon, Kent State

Andrew Groff took 2nd in the 5,000 at the Kenyon Classic on Saturday.
Andrew Groff took 2nd in the 5,000 at the Kenyon Classic on Saturday.

On Saturday, the Big Red men's track and field team sent athletes to both the Kenyon College Classic in Gambier and the Kent State Tune-Up.  Denison took fifth at Kenyon with 29 points, while the meet at Kent State was not scored.

At Division I Kent State, five members of the Big Red squad competed with athletes from Divisions I, II and III.  The triple jumping duo of Wallace Branche and Lester Harris both had solid performances on Saturday.  Branche finished fifth in the triple jump with a combined leap of 45'2.25".  Harris had a personal-best performance in the event with a mark of 44'4.75".  The freshman's jump landed him in seventh place and surpassed his previous top mark by 1'2.25".  Of the seven Division III athletes in the triple jump, Branche and Harris finished with the top two performances.

Other top marks at Kent State came from sophomore Quenton Richards and freshman Jake Dennie.  Richards shaved 27 hundredths of a second off his previous PR in the 200-meter dash.  The sophomore sprinter clocked in at 23 seconds flat. Dennie was one of 17 Division III athletes to compete in the 3,000-meter run.  His time of 9:01.97 was the 6th-best Division III time in the event.

In Gambier, DU scattered its 29 points over nine of the 15 events.  Sophomore Andrew Groff and senior Stephen Stitcher finished 2-3 in the 5,000-meter run.  Groff completed the event in 16:00.91, while Stitcher crossed the finish line in 16:50.82.  Freshman Edward Bailey III also helped the cause with three top-6 performances.  Bailey's best finish came in the long jump where he took fourth with a leap of 19'0.00".  The rookie also placed fifth in the triple jump (38'9.75") and sixth in the high jump after clearing 5'9.75".

Senior Jon Brachna and sophomore Ryan Keller each logged fifth-place performances.  Brachna posted a time of 2:01.51 in the 800-meter run, while Keller's top-five finish came in the mile.  The sophomore crossed the line in 4:30.55.  In the weight throw, senior John Bute recorded the sixth-best toss with a heave of 34'7".

In the final event of the night, the Big Red took fourth in the 4x400 relay.  The foursome of Ivan Hall, Luke Romick, and Ryan and Mitch Keller finished the race with a time of 3:38.24.

Denison will host its annual Last Chance Meet on Friday as a final tune-up for the 2014 North Coast Athletic Conference Championship, which will also take place in Granville.  Friday's events at the Mitchell Fieldhouse will begin at 5 p.m.