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Big Red men pull away at Miami Invitational

Kenny Fox  |  Photo by Jason Miller
Kenny Fox | Photo by Jason Miller

OXFORD, Ohio--  Denison's impressive depth was on full display on Friday night at the Miami Invitational.  The Big Red has separated themselves from the field with 929 points.  Miami sits in second place with 609 points while Washington-St. Louis is third at 605.  Emory (476) and Milwaukee (376) round out the team standings.

The Big Red won six of the seven events on Friday night and there were 45 top-27 finishes across the five individual events.  The night was opened with a victory and nearly a new varsity record in the 200 medley relay.  Carson Clear, Tiernan Foster-Smith, Kenny Fox and Zach Wagner combined for a 'B' cut time of 1:28.74 to win the event.  They were just 0.10 away from breaking the varsity record of 1:28.65 set in 2013.

The biggest time drop came from sophomore Bebe Wang who trimmed 3.67 seconds off his personal best with a 'B' cut time of 3:55.55 which was good enough to win the 400 IM.  Teammates Matt Hedman and Mitch Williams followed in second and third place, respectively.  Headman touched in 3:56.09 and Williams posted a time of 3:57.74.  John Stauffer placed sixth in 4:00.005 and Francis Biagioli rounded out a stacked A-Final in eighth place in 4:01.49.  All five posted PRs and 'B' cuts.  In the B-Final of the 400 IM, Blake Kent finished 14th in 4:06.01 and Oli Waldram ended in 17th in 4:08.62.  Ryan Anderson won the C-Final by dropping 5.00 seconds to touch at 4:05.46.

Ten DU swimmers competed in the three finals heats of the 100 fly.  Fox took 0.56 seconds off his time in prelims for a P.R. and a 'B' cut winning time of 48.15.  Kymani Senior placed sixth in 49.47 and Matt McHugh was seventh (49.70).  Liam Marsden-Readford touched eighth in 49.88 while P.J. Desmet took home 11th place in 50.13.  Brandt Swanson (14th – 50.44), Clear (15th – 50.49) and Jason Wesseling (17th – 50.68) closed out the B-Final while Brett Weicht won the C-Final in 50.30 and Eric Gerlach closed out the event with a 23rd place finish in 51.17.

The 200 free was even more stacked with Denisonians as Stuart Hohm set the pace for 12 Big Red swimmers who landed in the top-26.  Hohm won the race with a time of 1:38.99 after a P.R. and 'B' cut in 1:38.65 prelims.  Drake Horton may have punched his ticket to nationals with his time of 1:39.04 to place second.  Wagner also logged a PR in the morning after a time of 1:38.97. He returned on Friday night with a fifth-place finish in 1:39.84.  Rounding out the A-Final of the 200 free was Ben Burdick who touched in 1:41.98.

In the B-Final of the 200 free, Ryan Stevenson posted a 1.58-second drop to place 11th in 1:40.30.  Eric Gerlach took 14th in 1:42.35 and James Baker was 15th in 1:42.62.  Aaron Saccurato followed right behind Baker in 16th place in 1:42.64.

In the C-Final of the 200 free, Kevin Benson won the heat in 1:42.03. Ryan Klemptner (24th – 1:44.63), Adrian Maher (25th – 1:45.76) and Jackson Berman (26th – 1:46.28) closed out the event for DU.

In the 100 breaststroke, Foster-Smith and Jake Ball went 1-2 in the finals.  Foster-Smith logged a PR and 'B' cut in preliminaries with a time of 55.13.  He posted a 55.32 on Friday night.  Ball followed with a 'B' cut time of 55.74.  Jake Von Der Lippe (12th – 57.91), Zach Hammond (14th – 58.21), Sam O'Malley (16th – 58.69) and Peyton Gaumer (18th – 1:01.67) competed in the B-Final while Trent Schulten took fifth in the C-Final and 23rd overall in 1:00.59.

Three more 'B' cuts were recorded in the 100 backstroke A-Final.  Wesseling led DU with a third-place finish in 49.29.  Clear was fourth in 49.45 and P.J. Desmet took seventh in 50.08.  In the B-Final of the 100 back, Nick Froemming placed 12th in 51.61 and Alec Carlson was 16th in 52.37.  Chris Sigloh won the C-Final in 52.21 while Thomas Locke (23rd – 53.33) and Andrew Delahunty (25th – 54.31).

The night was capped off by Wang, Hohm, Horton and Wagner's victory in the 800 free relay.  They combined for a 'B' cut time of 6:36.48 while being led by Wagner's 1:38.91 anchor split.

Denison will close out competition at the Miami Invitational on Dec. 2 with preliminaries set to begin at 10:30 a.m. followed by finals at 6:30 p.m.