SAN DIEGO — The Occidental track and field teams proved that they could hold their own against top NCAA Division I and Division II talent at the Cal-Nevada Championships on Friday, as four of the five Tiger runners competing were among the top 10 finishers in their events.
Kevin Cox finished in fourth place in the long jump competition, narrowly missing a spot on the podium. Cox flew to a personal best mark of 23'02" feet on his third jump of the competition and led through the first two flights of the event. The mark moves Cox into third in the Division III standings so far this season.
Colin Smith also missed medaling in his event by the slightest of margins, finishing fourth in the 5000-meter by only .19 seconds. Smith and cross-country standout John Guzman Aguilar, who is still getting back into shape after an injury, battled in the fourth and fifth spots in the pack for most of the competition. On the final lap, Smith made an early kick and moved up into third position with 400 meters to go. He managed to hold third for 390 meters, but was passed up by Western Nelson of Cal State San Marcos in the final steps.
Smith crossed the finish line with a time of 14:40.31, the fastest time for Occidental this season, and Guzman took ninth at 14:45.83.
Mel Devoney ran a strong tactical race to finish seventh in the 5000-meter. After starting out at a relatively easy pace, Devoney moved up throughout the race and picked off most of the field to move into the top 10. She completed the race in a personal best time of 18:02.00.
The Tigers return to action at the annual Pomona-Pitzer Invitational on Saturday.
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