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Brennan places second in pentathlon at NCAA Indoor

Aedin Brennan was the runner-up in the pentathlon at NCAA Indoors.
Aedin Brennan was the runner-up in the pentathlon at NCAA Indoors.

In her fourth and final crack at a national championship in the pentathlon at the 2016 NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championship from Grinnell, Iowa, Aedin Brennan came up just shy. 

At the conclusion of the five grueling events, Brennan finished second overall with 3,557 points.  The championship went to Peyton Dostie of Southern Maine who won the final two events to edge Brennan by 97 points in the standings.

Brennan's silver medal finish is the best showing of her career at the indoor championship.  She had previously finished 10th in 2013, seventh in 2014 and fourth in 2015.  This is the seventh All-American performance of Brennan's career.

Entering the fifth and final event, Brennan trailed Dostie by 66 points.  Running in the second heat of the 800 meters, the top-three in the standings, Dostie, Brennan and Wooster's Hilary Coady, would get out in front.  Dostie asserted herself from the opening gun, taking a five-meter lead that she would hold throughout the race.  Dostie finished in 2:20.83 while Coady placed second in 2:22.19.  Brennan was just behind Coady in 2:23.20.  

Brennan began the pentathlon in the 60-meter hurdles where she placed eighth in 9.35 seconds.  That marked a career-best time for Brennan at indoor nationals.  It also earned her 838 points. Dostie won the event with a time of 8.81 seconds.

The second event of the pentathlon is the high jump where Brennan would match her PR.  She cleared 1.61 meters (5'3.25") on her second try and that landed her in a three-way tie for fourth place.  After earning 747 points, Brennan sat in sixth place with 1,585 points.

In the third event, Brennan continued to make a move up the leaderboard as she took fourth in the shot put with a distance of 10.46 meters (34'4").  With the fourth-place finish, Brennan was awarded 560 points which moved her into second-place overall with 2,145 points.  Through three events, Brennan trailed only Dostie by 43 points but held only a one-point lead over Coady in third-place.

The fourth of five events was the long jump and Brennan took third with a leap of 5.26 meters (17'3.25").  The strong performance by Brennan was overshadowed by the fact that first-place went to Dostie, who edged Brennan with a jump of 5.34 meters.  Brennan's performance in the long jump was her third-best showing at the NCAA Indoor championship.

In order for Brennan to leapfrog Dostie in the standings, she would have had to win the 800 meters while Dostie could have finished no better than fifth.

Brennan will return to action on Saturday when she competes in the triple jump that is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. EST.

Denison first-year Ajai Brooks made her debut at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship with a seventh-place finish in the trials of the 200-meter dash.  Brooks placed second in her heat with a PR of 25.30.  Brooks entered the meet with a seeded time of 25.38.  By finishing seventh out of the 17 preliminary competitors, Brooks will return for Saturday's finals at 5:15 p.m. EST.

Photos by Justin Hayworth