49ers will compete on Thursday and Friday at Drake Stadium
Cory Loebl enters his ninth year as an assistant coach at Long Beach State.
During his time working with the 49er throwers, Loebl has coached 10 NCAA national qualifiers and 41 NCAA regional qualifiers. Under his guidance, LBSU has also had 15 Big West individual champions, one MPSF indoor champion, 43 All-Big West performers and six All-Americans. In addition, Loebl's athletes have posted four school records and 52 performances in the all-time top 10.
Since Loebl took over as the team's throws coach, Long Beach State has led the Big West in individual titles and top-three performances at the conference championships in men's and women's throws combined.
Last year, the men's throwers contributed 57 points to the team's school-record total of 218.5 for their second-straight Big West title. Jason Harrell took top honors in the discus, while Adam Bianchessi was the individual champion in the javelin. Jake Fraser added a pair of runner-up finishes in the shot put and discus. On the women's side, Fatima Vergara won the hammer throw. Harrell, Bianchessi, Fraser, Vergara, Tiffany Forbito and Kody Robison all advanced to the NCAA West Preliminary Round.
In 2013, LBSU had two Big West champions and six NCAA West Preliminary qualifiers in the men's throwing events. At the conference meet, Fraser claimed the title in the discus, while Harrell was the runner-up. Fraser added a fourth-place finish in the shot put.
Josh Villalobos threw a lifetime best in the hammer to take top honors. Christopher Yates also had solid performances in his events, taking second in the shot put and seventh in the hammer. As a freshman, Robison had an inspiring meet, coming away with two personal records and scoring in each of his three events. Robison's weekend was highlighted by a third-place showing in the javelin.
"It was a very impressive 57-point weekend for the men's throws, even though we were not at full strength," Loebl said. "I was very proud of how the throwers performed and how some had to battle through aches and pains."
One of the major setbacks the 49ers had to work through was a season-ending injury to Adam Bianchessi, who at the time led the conference in the javelin with a lifetime-best 223-07 and ranked fourth on the 49er all-time list.
The women's throwers were highlighted by senior team captain Alex Cervantes, who established the program's third-best mark in the hammer, reaching 179-09.5. She led the group at the conference championships, setting her PR and taking third.
Linda Rueff, who wasn't able to train during the 2012 season, improved her personal best in the discus to 155-03 and came away with a seventh-place finish at the Big West Championships. Freshman Marina Shelton had an impressive first year in the hammer throw with a lifetime-best 170-01 at the Beach Invite and placing seventh at the conference meet. She also gained valuable national experience by competing in the hammer throw at the USA Junior Championships where she took 14th.
"The women showed very valuable growth over the season," Loebl said. "Compared to a year ago, this group was able to put the 49er women back on the map. My main goal was to build a new group and compete with the rest of the women in conference, and with six newcomers, I definitely feel that goal was met."
Loebl has also continued to mentor some of his former athletes, most notably the 2011 NCAA West Regional Men's Athlete of the Year and two-time All-American Colin Dunbar. In 2013, Dunbar competed indoors for the first time in two years and came away with a bronze medal after posting a lifetime-best 72-10 in the weight throw at the USA Indoor Championships. He also improved his PR in the hammer to 231-01 and placed sixth at the USA Outdoor Championships.
Dunbar is one of the most decorated throwers in Long Beach State history as he scored in all four events to account for 28 points at the 2011 Big West Championships. He won the hammer and discus, and was named the Big West Men's Field Athlete of the Year. The 49er men went on to win the conference title in 2011 as they swept the throwing events. In addition to Dunbar's victories, Cesar Puga won the shot put and Ben Woodruff took top honors in the javelin.
Loebl was a two-year letterwinner at LBSU, competing in the javelin, discus, hammer throw and shot put from 2002-03. He was a three-time NCAA qualifier and a four-time all-conference performer. He also competed in the discus at the 2002 USA Track & Field Championships.
Loebl was selected as the Big West Male Athlete of the Year in 2003 after scoring a school-record 30 total points at the conference championships. Loebl earned all-league honors in three events while claiming the title in the discus. Over his two years, Loebl tallied an unmatched total of 44 points in two conference championship meets.
The former team captain left Long Beach State ranked among the top-10 in six events, including No. 2 marks in the indoor shot put and weight throw.
Loebl also excelled in the classroom, earning both Mountain Pacific Sports Federation and Big West all-academic honors in 2003. In addition, he was selected as Long Beach State's BWC Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2004 and was a two-time U.S. Track Coaches Association Academic All-American.
Prior to LBSU, Loebl was a two-time NWAACC champion in the discus and hammer at Clackamas Community College in Oregon. Loebl graduated from Long Beach State with a bachelor's degree in kinesiology and went on to earn his master's in coaching and athletic administration from Concordia University, Irvine. Loebl is currently teaching at Carmenita Middle School in Cerritos.
Loebl and his wife, Melissa, reside in Long Beach with their son, Kaian, and daughter, Kalea.
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