LOS ANGELES — They didn't end up with wins, but the 4x100 and 4x400 meter Occidental College men's track and field relay teams posted some of the school's best times in the past 15 years.
Edmond O'Suji (Houston), Kevin Cox (Sedona, Ariz.), Austin Cheadle (Portland, Ore.) and Jonathan Padron (Kapolei, Hawaii) combined to finish the 4x100 in 42.07 seconds, good enough for second place in the event at Oxy's SCIAC multi-dual meet with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, La Verne and Pomona-Pitzer at Bill Henry Track on Saturday.
The Tigers as a team beat Pomona (91.5–64.5), but lost to CMS (90.66-72.33) and ULV (107-55).
Neither relay team crossed the line first in their heat, but both set the top Oxy times in the events since at least 1999 — records in the 1990s were not well kept and therefore precisely when the last time an Oxy 4x100 or 4x400 team had gone as fast as they did on Saturday isn't certain. Oxy coach Rob Bartlett said, "It's probably been more like 20 years."
Just saying where they finished against solid Pomona and ULV teams doesn't do it justice though.
"There's no shame (in losing) because every team ran faster than they have all season," Bartlett said. "The other teams just had better races than we did, but our teams were still impressive."
The 4x100 may have been even faster but Cheadle, who was running the third leg, pulled up a bit toward the end of his stretch with a tweaked Hamstring. The last pass to Padron occurred maybe a half second slower than it otherwise could have been.
Padron, one of the top 100-meter sprinters in all of NCAA Division III last season, went 10.87 in the 100 on Saturday, down from 10.94 two weeks before, in just his second race since returning from an injury.
Juan German (Providence, R.I.) moved up on the big board. The Oxy thrower recorded the third-best hammer toss in school history (51.12 meters).
The Tigers have one more meet, the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational on April 14, before the SCIAC championships at Redlands on April 27.