April 17, 2013
LONG BEACH - The Long Beach State track & field team wraps up a busy week by hosting the Beach Invitational at Cerritos College, April 19-20.
The annual Beach Invitational, hosted by Long Beach State, will be held at Cerritos College this weekend (April 19-20). The hammer throw is the only event slated for Friday with the women starting things off at noon and the men's competition getting underway at approximately 2 p.m. The meet will resume on Saturday with the track events beginning at 8:30 a.m. and the field events set for an 8:45 a.m. start.
This is the largest meet that LBSU has hosted to date with nearly 2,000 individuals and almost 3,000 entries in the 2013 edition of the Beach Invitational. In addition, there are 34 states, 22 clubs and four countries (Brazil, Canada, Mexico, United States) represented. The event has grown by over 400 percent since 2006.
There are a handful of special events set to take place at the Beach Invitational this weekend. The 49ers will honor 22 student-athletes in a Senior Day ceremony beginning at 11:45 a.m. Long Beach State is also hosting the "Fastest Kid in Long Beach" Race for boys and girls (K-8th grade), starting at 12:45 p.m.
Two Olympians, Jamie Nieto and Mark Crear, will also be in attendance for the Kid's Fun Zone from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Nieto, a high jumper, placed sixth in the 2012 London Olympic finals and finished fourth at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. He was also a four-time national champion and a 2004 Pan American Games silver medalist. Crear has been one of the United States' more prominent hurdlers, ranking among the top-10 in the world for eight consecutive years. He won silver in the 110H at the 1996 Atlanta Games and also captured a bronze medal at the 2000 Olympic Games held in Sydney.
BIG WEST CHALLENGE RECAP
Last weekend, the 49er men won their sixth-straight Big West Challenge team title, while the women finished second. Chris Yates led the way in the throws with individual victories in the shot put and discus. Willie Alexander was also a double-winner in the long jump and triple jump. On the track, Michael Perez-Rogers took top honors in the 400m, while Devin Hickey claimed the 110m hurdle title. The women added four event wins, led by Alexandra Cervantes, who picked up a huge personal-best 175-01 in the hammer throw. She now ranks third in school history.
VAUGHAN MAKES HIS MARK
Senior co-captain Michael Vaughan has been one of the top triple jumpers in the nation this year. The Rosamond, Calif., native established a personal-record 51-07.25 in the season opener at the Beach Classic (March 3), earning him Big West Men's Field Athlete of the Week honors. Vaughan's mark is tied for eighth in school history and ranks first in the Big West, eighth in the West region and 13th in the nation.
49ER MEN'S THROWS SQUAD CONTINUES TO DOMINATE
The Long Beach State men's throws squad has been dominant in the Big West in recent years and 2013 is shaping up to be no different as a 49er owns the top mark in the conference in three of the four throwing events. Adam Bianchessi (javelin), Jason Harrell (discus) and Joel Baez (hammer) all lead the Big West in their respective events, while senior co-captain Chris Yates, who recently nabbed his second Big West Men's Field Athlete of the Week honor, is second in the shot put (59-01.25) and the hammer (191-06).
Long Beach State will have a split squad next weekend as it is slated to compete in both the UC San Diego Triton Invitational (April 26-27) and the UC Irvine/Steve Scott Invitational (April 27-28).
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