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Brennan earns fourth All-American honor

Aedin Brennan
Aedin Brennan

Denison junior Aedin Brennan continued to build on her already historic track and field career on Friday afternoon at the 2015 NCAA Division III Indoor Championship held in Winston-Salem, N.C. Last spring, Brennan became the first female athlete in program history to win three All-American honors. On Friday, she added another first to her resume when she captured her second indoor All-American certificate and posted her first top-5 finish at a national meet. With her performance in Winston-Salem, Brennan became the only female athlete in program history to have multiple All-American awards from the indoor championship.

Brennan finished the NCAA Indoor Pentathlon with 3,567 points which earned her fourth place in the overall standings.

Through three events on Friday, the DU junior found herself in ninth place in the individual standings with arguably her two strongest events remaining. The fourth event of the day, the long jump, proved to be the turning point for Brennan. After placing fifth in the event a year ago, the Fairport, New York native registered a leap of 17'11.75" with her second attempt to finish second in the event. That mark earned Brennan 694 points and moved her from ninth to fourth in the overall standings, two points behind third-place Allie Boudreau of Illinois Wesleyan and only 133 tallies behind first-place Melanie Winters of Baldwin Wallace.

The 800-meter run turned out to be an interesting an event for the top half of the field. After sitting in fourth place for the majority of the race, Brennan made a late push down the final straight away to sneak past Southern Maine's Peyton Dostie and into third place. She clocked in at 2:21.86, three hundredths of a second ahead of Dostie. Boudreau went on to win the event with a time of 2:17.33, while Winters was 12th after clocking in at 2:31.11.

When the final scores were compiled, Brennan's school-record total landed her just nine points behind third-place Enuma Ezenwa of Christopher Newport (3,576). Boudreau's 800-meter performance moved her past Winters in the standings, resulting in the senior's first national championship in the event. The IWU athlete finished with 3,631 points, while Winters compiled 3,581 points. Fifth place went to Wisconsin-Oshkosh's Taylor Sherry with 3,462 tallies, while Wisconsin-Stout's Meagan Ward (3,410), St. Olaf's Dani Larson (3,400) and Dostie (3,391) rounded out the list of All-American performances.

Brennan opened the pentathlon with a strong performance in the 60-meter hurdles. She crossed the line in 9.48, four hundredths of a second shy of her school-record time set during the NCAC pentathlon on March 1. That time was also a tenth of a second faster than her performance at last year's NCAA pentathlon. Brennan would climb from 13th to 12th place after finishing in a tie for ninth in the high jump after successfully clearing 5'1" and earning 678 points. In the shot put, she finished sixth with a mark of 35'6.75"achieved in her first toss of the day. Brennan received 585 points for that performance, moving her into ninth place with two events left.

Brennan will return to the JDL Fast Track on Saturday with teammate Wallace Branche to compete in the triple jump events. Branche, a North Carolina native, will take part in the men's triple jump at 10 a.m., while the women's triple jump is slated to start at 1:30 p.m.