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Dower, DeRoeck lead Cougar men to 2nd-place finish

The Cougars were led by eight total event winners as the University of Minnesota, Morris men's track & field team took second at the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) Outdoor Championships Saturday.

Leandro Dower won his second straight Track Athlete of the Meet honor and Ryan DeRoeck was named Field Athlete of the Meet. Dower was a winner in both the 100-meter and 200-meter and anchored the winning 4x100-meter relay, while DeRoeck took top honors in both the high jump and triple jump.

Dower tied his best time of the season in the 100-meter with his 11.11, before posting a new season best in the 200-meter with his 22.14. In the 4x100-meter he teamed up with Zeke Miller, Tanner Enter, and Andrew Burroughs to set a new school and championship meet record with their 42.67, dropping a tenth of a second off the previous standard set by Morris last season.

DeRoeck successfully defended his 2011 high jump title, giving the sophomore two titles in as many seasons, with his 6-feet-0 jump. He then added some new hardware in the triple jump with his 42-feet-0.75, his best mark of the season.

Entering the meet as the two-time defending UMAC Outdoor Champions, the Cougars were unable to make it a three-peat, as St. Scholastica scored 247 points to take home the team trophy. The Cougars came in second with their 194 points, easily distancing themselves from third place Northwestern with 109 points.

Martin Luther with 32 and North Central with two rounded out the team scoring.

The Cougars swept the relays, also winning the 4x400 and 4x800, while Ken Broden in the 800-meter capped the Morris winners on the day.

Broden posted a 2:04.51 in the 800 to win his first UMAC title, while also anchoring the winning 4x800 with Charles Abraham, Willie Wachutka, and Anthony White to finish in 8:25.68.

In the final event of the day, the Cougars set their final record, digging out of a huge hole after the first leg to come back for a school and meet record 3:26.27 to win the 4x400. Ben Schield, Zach Smith, Josh Lozancich, and Broden teamed up for the win, with Smith erasing the gap during the second leg, before Broden eventually brought home the win.

The record performances on the day were made all the more impressive as all the athletes had to battle the wind, rain, and cold temperatures throughout the day.

With the UMAC Championships behind them, the Cougars will now turn their attention to earning national qualifying marks, with two more opportunities left before the NCAA Championships later this month. First up is the UW-La Crosse Invite on May 11 in La Crosse, Wis