Feb. 28, 2013
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Beach Classic Preview with Head Coach Andy Sythe
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LONG BEACH - The Long Beach State track & field team will open the 2013 outdoor season by hosting the Beach Classic at Cerritos College, March 1-2.
The Beach Classic, hosted by Long Beach State, will be held at Cerritos College in Norwalk, Calif., this weekend. The women's and men's hammer throw will take place on Friday, beginning at 12:30 p.m. The rest of the field events are set for a 9 a.m. start on Saturday, while the track events get underway at 11 a.m.
Loyola Marymount and USC join the 49ers as the Beach Classic's three NCAA Division I participants. There are also seven junior colleges entered along with a handful of track clubs and unattached competitors.
LBSU has 66 athletes (34 men, 32 women) entered in the Beach Classic. Emily Cooper, who garnered All-Big West honors in the 100m and 200m last year, looks to lead the women this weekend as she will compete in the 100m, 400m and both relays. Jahmani Lockett, the 2012 co-Big West Freshman of the Year, highlights the men's entrants in the 200m, 800m and 4x400 relay.
LAST TIME OUT
Long Beach State competed against some of the top teams in the nation at the MPSF Indoor Championships in Seattle last weekend. Willie Alexander led the 49ers as he finished third in the long jump with a school-record 25-00. Joel Baez and Josh Villalobos also scored in the weight throw, coming in fifth and sixth, respectively. Baez notched a personal-record 59-11, which ranks fourth in program history, while Villalobos matched his lifetime-best at 59-05.5. On the track, Devin Hickey clocked in at 8.20 seconds to place seventh in the 60-meter hurdles. The quartet of Michael Perez-Rogers, Matt Maldonado, Dylan McCloskey and Gabe Hilbert added a point in the 4x400 relay where they took eighth (3:16.15). Rosa Del Toro was LBSU's only point scorer for the women as she had a seventh-place performance in the 5000m (16:43.29).
ALEXANDER MAKES IMMEDIATE IMPACT
Freshman Willie Alexander wasted no time in establishing himself at Long Beach State as he registered an indoor school-record 24-11.25 to win the long jump in his collegiate debut at the Air Force Team Challenge on Feb. 9. He also competed in the triple jump, notching a personal-record 48-03.25 to sit at No. 7 on LBSU's all-time top-10 list. Two weeks later, Alexander bettered his long jump distance with a leap of 25-00 at the MPSF Indoor Championships, where he finished third overall. That mark ranks 18th in the nation.
DEL TORO'S LAST STAND
Senior Rosa Del Toro, who only has indoor eligibility remaining, might have competed in her final collegiate meet last weekend, but will wrap up her two-year career as the most decorated athlete in program history with six school records to her name. She owns the top indoor times in the mile (4:50.75), 3000m (9:22.08), and 5000m (16:23.15), and ran an LBSU outdoor-best 4:24.97 in the 1500m last year. She also notched school records in the 5K (17:09.8) and 6K (20:27) during the 2011 cross country season.
In addition to the four school records established during the indoor season, the 49ers posted 28 other marks that ranked among the program's all-time top-10 in 2013.
Long Beach State makes the short trip to Fullerton next weekend for the Ben Brown Invitational, March 8-9.