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By Michael Wells
Sports Information Director           

CLAREMONT — Occidental College track and field freshman Cole Williams earned All-American honors in the 800 meters, finishing sixth in the final heat of the event at the 2012 NCAA Division III Outdoor National Track and Field Championships at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Saturday.

Williams crossed the line in 1 minute, 51.01 seconds.

He was within striking distance of the eventual winner, Jake Waterman of Wabash College, but dropped a few spots in the second lap.

"I felt like I ran smart through 550 (meters). Then I clipped up a couple of times, but it happens in championship races," Williams said. "I thought I raced well, just maybe was caught dozing a little at 550 where the guys came around me. I just have to be a little more proactive on the back straight."

On Friday, Williams won his section of the 800 preliminaries to advance to the final.

Williams, the only freshman in the 800 final, finished a little behind where he might have liked, but said he picked up a few things during his first national championship that should help him build on an impressive rookie season.

"In the future, obviously I need more experience and with more experience comes the ability to know what to do when you're given a certain situation," Williams said. "Obviously I didn't make some of the right decisions at the split second, but I'll improve on that as the years go by."