Alekna Sweeps Awards, Again
BERKELEY – After capturing the all-time NCAA men's discus record on Saturday, California track & field freshman Mykolas Alekna added two more accolades to his impressive resume on Tuesday, with the U.S. Cross Country and Track and Field Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) naming him their Division I Men's Athlete of the Week and the Pac-12 Conference subsequently awarding him the honor of Men's Field Athlete of the Week for the fourth time in 2022. Alekna was already the first man in Cal history to win the national award, initially earning the honor on March 22; this second win makes him the first Cal athlete in history to do it twice in a career, much less in the same season.
To date, Alekna has broken the NCAA record, the NCAA freshman record, the U23 Lithuanian record, the school record, the school freshman record, three meet records and one facility record. At the Big Meet on April 30, his first throw sailed an astonishing 67.68m (222-0), the farthest-ever distance by a teenager; he then followed up with three more throws over 67m. Alekna now owns 6 of the top 10 throws in NCAA history.
Alekna's mark from Saturday is second all-time by any collegiate athlete ever; UCLA's Julian Wruck threw 68.16m (223-7) in 2013 as an unattached at the Claremont Throws Meet, which is not recognized by the USTFCCCA as an official NCAA meet. At the time, Wruck was a senior, which gives the 19-year-old Alekna another three years to improve his personal best by 1 foot 7 inches in order to tie Wruck's mark.
The Bears have two weeks of rest and training on their schedule before they return to action at the Pac-12 Championships on May 13-15, hosted this year at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.