Nine All-SCIAC performances at Championship Meet

Nine All-SCIAC performances at Championship Meet
By Alex Nieves
Sports Information

LOS ANGELES — The regular season for the Occidental College men's and women's track and field teams is all wrapped up as the Tigers finished off the 2013 SCIAC Track and Field Championships with a bang. Although both Tiger squads finished in the middle of the pack in the team scoring section of the meet, individually several Tigers came away with top performances.

The meet started off with the Oxy women competing in the highly anticipated 4x100 meter relay. The team of Stephanie Scamman (Northridge), Rachael Hinkel (Kapaa, Hawaii), Brooke Staton (Clarksville, MD), and Jenny Quilty (Sheffield, Mass.), crossed the finish line in 49.25 seconds, good for a fourth place finish and a spot on Oxy's All-Time list.

The women's relay was followed up by a strong performance by the men who posted a season-best time, despite having a runner fill in who had never run a 4x100 in his track career. Jesse Wong (San Mateo) stepped up for the Tigers and teamed up with regulars Edmond O'Suji (Houston, Texas), Kevin Cox (Sedona, Ariz.) and Jonathan Padron (Kapolei, Hawaii) to post a 41.74. This time gave the team an All-SCIAC third-place finish and should put them in contention for National Championships in three weeks.

But during the relay Padron, the two-time defending 100-meter SCIAC champ, tweaked his hamstring. When he ran his feature event two hours later, he was edged by Whittier's Kimble Tillman, coming up a gimpy second with a 10.75 mark.

In the women's 1500, Deanna Dupuy (Newbury Park) built off her strong preliminary performance and put in the best race of her Oxy career. The senior finished the race in 4:40.09, a personal best, and claimed All-SCIAC honors with a third-place finish.

"When I finished that race that was probably the happiest I have been in a really long time. It really made the four years I committed worth it," Dupuy said after the meet.    

The other major highlight of the night came from a pair of Oxy hurdlers.

In the 100 hurdles, Hinkel exploded for a third-place finish and All-SCIAC honors with a 15.39 time that is more than 1 second better than her high school best.

Not to be outdone by his fellow hurdler, Wong put together an impressive performance in the finals of the 400 hurdles. Wong posted a personal best time of 54.30 and finished in second place just 0.2 seconds behind Matt Espy of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. Although Wong was disappointed about coming just short of a SCIAC championship, he did not let this get him down as continued through the meet.

"I didn't get the place that I had wanted, but I still had another race to run for my team. That was more important," Wong said.    

In total, nine Tigers came away from the day two of the championships with All-SCIAC recognition.

Representing the sprinters, Padron, Quilty and Ayana Foster (Oakland) all finished in the top six of their respective events. Padron finish his 100 race in 10.74, good for second, while Quilty finished fourth in the 200 with a time of 26.09. Foster posted a personal best of 58.45 in the 400 and finished with an impressive fourth place finish.

Colin Smith (Las Vegas) came away with a third-place finish in the 1500, posting a career best time of 3:56.88.

The Tigers also had two field event athletes come away with All-SCIAC performances.

Staton pulled out top six finishes in both the triple jump and the long jump, making her the only Oxy athlete to come away with double All-SCIAC honors in 2013. She jumped 10.79 meters in the triple jump, finishing fifth, and 17'10" in the long jump, also fifth in that competition. Staton's long jump now puts her in fourth on Oxy's All-Time list.

Kristina Gustovich (La Canada) jumped at height of 5-01.75 feet in the high jump and came away with a fourth-place finish.

Both teams finished the championships with six place finishes, with the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men and La Verne women winning the overall team competitions.

The Tigers will be back on the track at Jack Kemp Stadium for the Oxy Invitational on Saturday May 4. They follow that meet with their last competition of the season, the Oxy Last-Chance Meet May 12.