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Big Red men increase lead at Denison Invite

Trey Ike  |  Photo by Curt Ashcraft
Trey Ike | Photo by Curt Ashcraft

GRANVILLE, Ohio – Denison men's swimming and diving logged 13 'B' cut times and a pair of event victories as they increased their lead on Friday night at the 2019 Denison Invitational held at the Trumbull Aquatics Center in Granville. Currently holding a two-day total of 1,489.50, the Big Red sit 367 points ahead of second-place Emory University at 1,122.5 points. Wayne State follows in third place with a team score of 863.5 and Washington-St. Louis rounds out the team standings in fourth place (820.5).

Also adding 15 season-best marks throughout the finals, Denison was once again led by senior Kymani Senior who paced DU in the 100 butterfly with a first-place finish and NCAA 'B' cut time of 48.66. Sophomore Noah Houskeeper followed in third place with a 'B' cut mark of 49.04 while Ethan Bevill (6th – 49.53) and Michael Arpasi (12th – 50.40) added season-low times in the event.

Senior also joined Houskeeper, PJ Desmet, and Bebe Wang in the 200 medley relay to open the night where they finished in third place with a provisional qualifying time of 1:29.67, a new season-best. Houskeeper also claimed a 'B' cut time and a season-best in the 100 breaststroke with a final mark of 55.88.

Denison's second victory of the night came in the 100 backstroke when freshman Trey Ike clocked in with a new personal-best 'B' cut time of 48.79 to lead the Big Red in first place. Sam Jo logged a 51.21 to land in eighth place. Peter Morley posted a new personal record of 51.41 in ninth place and Chas Sigloh took 10th place at 51.14.

The Big Red's highest 'B' cut count of the evening came in the 400 IM where they tallied four provisional qualifying times led by senior Mitch Williams in second place at 3:54.94. Junior John Stauffer followed in third after touching the wall in 3:54.94 and Eric Chimes added a 'B' cut mark in eighth place with a season-best time of 4:00.18. The event's final 'B' cut went to Lukas Gately after he checked in with a season-low mark of 3:57.45 in 11th place.

In the 200 free, Wang led DU in second place after clocking in with a 'B' cut time of 1:37.68. Drake Horton trailed by less than a second in fourth place with a 'B' cut of 1:38.46 and Eric Gerlach rounded out three-straight 'B' cuts for Denison in fifth place at 1:38.70. Matt McHugh took seventh place with a 1:41.05 and Desmet finished in ninth at 1:42.21.

In the final event of the night, Williams, Horton, Gerlach, and Wang teamed up in the 800 free relay where they dropped 17.46 seconds off their previous best to finish in second place with a 'B' cut mark of 6:35.68.

The Big Red men also competed in the one-meter dive on Friday afternoon where sophomore Liam Simmons finished second overall with a six-dive score of 274.50. Fellow sophomore Brendan Downey took fifth place with a score of 203.65.

Denison will look to secure their second-straight invitational title on Saturday when they return to the Trumbull Aquatics Center for the final day of competition. Both sides will compete in the 1,650 free, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, 400 free relay, and the three-meter dive. Prelims will begin at 10 a.m. with diving to follow at 12:30 p.m. Swimming finals will take place at 6 p.m.