The College of the Canyons track & field program competed at the annual Beach Invitational on the campus of California State University at Long Beach, with three Cougars returning home after establishing school records.
The Cougars were competing against a field of student-athletes primarily representing four-year schools from across the nation.
As a result, several former COC student-athletes were also spotted at the event with Randle Williams (Metropolitan State University of Denver), Cole Mears (UC San Diego), James Chevious (Northern Arizona University), Sike Azu-Irondi (UC Santa Barbara) and Dominique Dowell (UC Riverside) all able to catch up with their former coaches and teammates.
Highlighting the day for COC’s current squad were the performances by sophomores Díani Ellis, Kaitlyn Matthews and Samiyah Hawkins.
Ellis was the top individual finisher for the team, with her fifth place finish in the 3,000m steeplechase. Her time of 11:14.04 established a new school record, and also represents the top time in the state so far this year, among California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) student-athletes.
Matthews also etched her name into the COC record books with a mark of 1.70m in the high jump, to tie the record previously set by teammate Jasmine Hall. That placed her 13th in the event.
Hawkins also established a new school record with a throw of 42.01m in the discus to rank 43rd on the day.
Elsewhere, Jessica Ruiz (18:48.52) and Stephanie Martinez (19:12.12) finished 13th and 17th, respectively, in the 5,000m.
The men’s 4x400m relay team of Tochukwe Eze, Blake Beeler, Slade Cavallaro and Leo Lambert III finished third in the field of four with a time of 3:19.61.
Lambert also placed 21st in the 400m at a time of 49.06.
Canyons will now look to prepare for the Western State Conference (WSC) Finals.
The WSC prelims will be held Friday, April 21, at Bakersfield College, with the WSC Finals meet scheduled for Friday, April 28, at Moorpark College.