May 23, 2013
AUSTIN, Texas - Freshman Willie Alexander punched his ticket to the NCAA Outdoor Championships on the first day of the West Preliminaries Thursday at Mike A. Myers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin.
Alexander, who entered the meet ranked 27th, finished 12th out of 48 in the long jump, securing his spot in the NCAA Championships in two weeks. Alexander registered a personal-record 24-11.25 on his third attempt of the preliminary round to advance to the finals where that mark stood as the 12th-best in the competition.
Alexander is one of two freshmen to qualify out of the West Region and is the first freshman on the 49er men's team to move on to the NCAA Championships in 24th-year head coach Andy Sythe's tenure (since 1990). Emily Forsythe accomplished the feat on the women's side, qualifying in the high jump in her first year at Long Beach State in 2002.
Alexander will be back in action this weekend, along with teammate Michael Vaughan, in the triple jump on Saturday, May 25.
On the track, Meghan Foley advanced to Saturday's quarterfinal in the women's 1500m with a fifth-place finish in Heat 2 (4:29.30). Foley currently holds the school record at 4:23.55.
Gabe Hilbert also moved on to the men's 800m quarterfinals which will be held tomorrow evening. Hilbert finished among the top-24 in the prelims with a time of 1:49.96.
Although Jacob Fraser was unable to qualify for the NCAA Championships in the men's discus, he beat his pre-meet ranking by eight spots. Fraser was seeded 30th, but came in 22nd with a toss of 174-10. He will also be competing in the shot put on Friday (May 24). Jason Harrell finished out of contention in the discus as well, placing 35th overall (169-08).
Long Beach State continues action at the NCAA West Preliminaries on Friday, May 24. The men's hammer throw kicks things off at noon (PT).
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