ORANGE — Although not competing for Occidental at the SCIAC Multi-Dual 3 on Saturday, Colin Smith may have recorded the most impressive performance of the weekend for the track team.
Smith took on one of the toughest 5000-meter fields in the country at the Mt. Sac relays on Friday, finishing ninth with a time of 14:25.21. This mark is the second fastest in Occidental history, a personal best by about eight seconds and the 10th quickest time in the nation so far.
Kimberly Orpinela continued her climb up the Occidental all-time board on Saturday, recording yet another outstanding personal best in the hammer throw.
The junior has improved her lifetime mark in the event multiple times this season and claimed the fourth best throw in Tiger history coming into the event. In what has become a common occurrence in 2014, Orpinela destroyed her pervious best throw, this time by almost 10 feet. She finished the event in first with a mark of 145'6" and now ranks as the third best hammer thrower in program history.
Kevin Cox helped to keep the Tigers rolling in the field events, winning the long jump by over a foot and picking up a lifetime best on the way. Cox jumped 23'5.5" on his second attempt of the competition and now ranks ninth among all Division III competitors.
The sprints squad put in the most consistent races throughout the meet, tallying strong finishes across the board.
Jonathan Padron crossed the finish line second in the 100-meter, posting a season-best time of 10.80. This sub-11 mark comes in just his second race after returning from a hamstring injury and the performance bodes well for his attempt to make a fourth straight trip to the National Championships.
Kyle Dalton walked onto the bus for the ride home with two personal bests under his belt, running 11.00 in the 100-meter and 22.11 in the 200-meter. These finishes were good enough for sixth and fourth, respectively.
Jeh Johnson ran a very solid 200-meter race, taking sixth place with a time of 22.35. But Johnson left his mark on the track in the 4x400 relay, as he blew away the competition on the third leg. He completed the leg in 48.5, the fastest 4x400 split by any Tiger this season.
Nwabueze finished her 100-meter race in third place with a time of 12.71 before coming back with a personal best of 25.84 in the 200-meter. Her 200-meter time was good for second place.
Quilty ran a 12.76 in the 100-meter, crossing the finish line in fourth place just hundredths of a second behind Nwabueze. Just like her teammate, Quilty would move up a spot in the final standings in the 200-meter, taking third with a time of 25.93.
Rachael Hinkel once again improved on her season best in the 100-meter hurdles, taking second in 15.33.
Marnie Kinnaird was the leader of the women's distance unit, taking fourth in the 1500-meter with a personal best time of 4:53.25. This mark is just .03 seconds away from being a three second improvement on her previous best time.
Melina Devoney and Lila Singer-Berk both took home top 5 finishes in the 5000-meter, crossing the line in second and fourth respectively. Devoney continued on her impressive first-year campaign, running 18:51.91, but it was Singer-Berk's surprise fourth place, 19:05.07 finish that came as one of the brightest spots for the Tigers on the day.
Thomas Warfel was the top performer among the men's distance runners, finishing in sixth place in the 1500-meter. Warfel's time of 4:05.95 is his second best mark in the event this season.
Occidental returns to the track on May 2-3 for the SCIAC Championships, hosted at Jack Kemp Stadium.
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