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Willie Alexander Set for NCAA Outdoor Championships in Oregon This Week

Freshman Willie Alexander will compete in the long jump at the NCAA Outdoor Championships on Thursday.

June 4, 2013

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LONG BEACH - Freshman Willie Alexander will represent the Long Beach State track & field team at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., June 5-8.

The 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be held at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon from Wednesday through Saturday. Willie Alexander is the 49ers' lone representative and he will compete in Flight 2 of the men's long jump, which starts at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 6. The top nine from two flights will advance to the finals where they will each get three more attempts.

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.

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. 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.

Sythe received his fourth Big West Men's Track & Field Coach of the Year award after leading the 49ers to their seventh conference title and fourth in the last eight years. 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 accolades.

Willie Alexander is one of four freshmen in a field of 24 for the men's long jump at the NCAA Championships. He became the first freshman on the 49er men's team to qualify for the national meet in 24th-year head coach Andy Sythe's tenure (since 1990) when he finished 12th overall at the West Regionals on May 23. The last LBSU freshman athlete to accomplish the feat was Emily Forsythe, who advanced to the NCAA Championships in the women's high jump in 2002.

Alexander has had a stellar first year at Long Beach State as he was named the Big West Men's Freshman Athlete of the Year, earned all-conference honors in the long jump and triple jump, and also qualified for the NCAA West Preliminaries in both events. Alexander registered a pair of lifetime bests to finish second in the triple jump (52-02.75) and third in the long jump (24-07.25) at the Big West Championships. Two weeks later, he notched another personal record in the long jump with a leap of 24-11.25 at the NCAA West Prelims. During the indoor season, Alexander also established a school-record 25-00 in the long jump and ranks seventh in school history in the triple jump (48-03.25).

The Long Beach State men recently won their fourth Big West title (2006, 2008, 2011, 2013) in the last eight years. The 49ers had 15 all-conference performances, including four individual champions. On the track, Gabe Hilbert finished ahead of the pack in the 800m, while Davon Wilson-Angel took top honors in the 110m hurdles. Josh Villalobos also won the hammer and Jacob Fraser was victorious in the discus. The men totaled 176.5 points to finish with a comfortable 24.5-point lead over UC Santa Barbara.

The 2013 49ers have posted 28 marks that rank among the program's all-time top-10. Leading the way is Meghan Foley, who set a school record in the 1500m (4:23.55), while also posting the third-fastest time in the 800m (2:10.27). The quartet of Jasmine Askew, Emily Cooper, Saedra Wright and Taylor Lorack also set a program record in the 4x400 relay (3:41.24).



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