May 15, 2013
IRVINE, Calif. - Long Beach State claimed two major Big West Track & Field awards as Andy Sythe was named the Men's Coach of the Year and Willie Alexander garnered Men's Freshman of the Year honors the conference office announced Wednesday.
Sythe received his fourth Big West Men's Track & Field Coach of the Year award (2006, 2008 and 2011) after leading the 49ers to their seventh conference title and fourth in the last eight years.
In 2013, he saw four of his athletes win an individual Big West title, while the LBSU men also had 15 all-conference performances. In addition, Long Beach State had 12 athletes break into the program's all-time top-10 this season. Under Sythe's tutelage, Long Beach State has produced 11 Big West Athletes of the Year and claimed four Big West Freshman of the Year honors.
Alexander was an all-conference performer in both the triple jump and long jump at the Big West Championships. On the first day of the conference meet, he had a third-place performance in the long jump with a personal-record 24-07.25, which ranks sixth among all freshmen in the country. The Fresno, Calif., native came back the next day to top his lifetime best by over three feet in the triple jump, earning him runner-up honors. Alexander's leap of 52-02.75 is tied for sixth in school history, is ninth in the West Region and 12th in the nation.
During the regular season, he swept the two events at the Big West Challenge, finishing first in both the long jump (23-06) and triple jump (48-10) with then personal bests.
Long Beach State, which claimed the Big West title last weekend, returns to action with the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds, May 23-25, in Austin, Texas.
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