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Wooster edges out Denison men in dual meet

Bryce Stricker  |  Photo by Curt Ashcraft
Bryce Stricker | Photo by Curt Ashcraft

WOOSTER, Ohio – Denison men's track & field tallied seven event victories on Thursday evening, but the Big Red fell five points shy of the Scots, 74-69, to place second overall in a traditional dual meet held at the College of Wooster.

Tied with 62 points each following the 800-meter run, Wooster took a three-point lead after the 200-meter dash that saw the Scots' William McMichael place first overall at 23.65 while DU's Charlie Webb trailed by .28 seconds in second place at 23.93. Wooster collected two more points from Mark Herron in third (24.26) and Kyle Hou kept the Big Red alive with one point in fifth place (24.46).

In the final event of the night, the Scots paced the Big Red by 3.05 seconds in the 4X400 meter relay to put Denison's quartet of Lance Tobasky, Benjamin Rumsfeld, Charlie Webb, and Jack Ruddy in second place with a final time of 3:41.31.

Opening the day in the field events, senior Bryce Stricker found early success for DU with a pair of wins over Wooster in the weight throw and shot put. The reigning NCAC Field Athlete of the Week, Stricker's best performance came in the weight throw where he placed first overall and broke his own school record with a new PR launch of 54'3.75" (16.55 meters). He bested his previous mark by four inches (53'11.75") which was last set on Feb. 3, 2018 at the Bob Shannon Invitational in Granville. Junior Grant Balogh followed in second place with a new personal record of his own at 42'8.75" (13.02 meters) while Austin McManus took fourth place at 40'3.50". Freshman Gabe Springer rounded out the top five for DU in fifth place after turning in a new personal best distance of 37'6.75" (11.45 meters).

In the shot put, Stricker tallied his second personal record of the day when he captured another event title at 45'5.75" (13.86 meters). McManus finished in fourth place at 33'8.75" and Springer took fifth (28'2.75").

Denison added two more wins in the field events, led by Hou in the long jump who took first overall on a leap of 19'5.50" (5.93 meters). Wayne Chen trailed in third place at 18'10.75" (5.76 meters). In the high jump, senior Ryan Fleming won the event after landing a maximum jump of 6'1.50" (1.87 meters).

The Big Red also earned a second-place finish from James Dixie in the pole vault (10'6.75") while Jake Coplin also took second overall in the triple jump at 40'0.50" (12.20 meters). Angelo Ricci followed in third place in the triple jump at 39'8" (12.09 meters) and Chen took fifth at 34'5.75".

On the track, Denison collected three additional first-place finishes on the day, starting with a gold medal performance from Coplin, Tobasky, Ricci, and Ruddy in the 4X200 meter relay at 1:33.76, just .67 seconds off their previous PR.

In the 60 meter hurdles, Webb led the pack in first place after clocking in at 8.72 while Dixie took fourth at 9.47. Denison's final win came in the 60-meter dash when Hou set to a new PR at 7.33 to place first overall. Coplin took third at 7.43 and Ricci finished in sixth place (7.53).

In the 800 meter run, the Big Red finished with three runners in the top-five, highlighted by Zackary Johnston in second place with a final mark of 2:08.51. Kenny Connelly placed fourth overall (2:13.23) and Rhys Fitschen-Brown followed by .66 seconds in fifth place (2:13.89).

Denison's top-three showings were rounded out in the one-mile run and the 400-meter dash with Clayton Watters placing third overall in the mile (4:39.83) and Rumsfeld taking third in the 400 (55.30).

The Big Red will return to action on Saturday, Feb. 8 when they host the annual Bob Shannon Invitational at the Mitchell Fieldhouse in Granville. Field events will begin at 12 p.m. with the running events to follow at 2 p.m.