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Alekna Wins Pac-12 Field Athlete, Freshman Of The Year

May 19, 2022

BERKELEY – Fresh off yet another record-setting performance at the Pac-12 Championships last weekend in Eugene, Oregon, California track & field freshman Mykolas Alekna added two more accolades to his impressive resume on Thursday as he was named the Pac-12 Men's Field Athlete and Men's Freshman of the Year.

"Of course he did," said a pleased but unsurprised Robyne Johnson, who acts as Cal's Director of Track & Field/Cross Country. "Who else could it have been?"

A two-time honoree of The Bowerman Watch List, Alekna becomes the first Cal athlete in history to win any men's conference yearly award, and just the third Cal athlete period to win any Pac-12 yearly honor after Sheila Hudson (1990) and Alysia Johnson (2007, 2008). In his first year alone, he has accumulated two U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division I Men's Athlete of the Week awards (March 22, May 3) and four Pac-12 Men's Field Athlete of the Week awards (March 22, March 29, April 12, May 3). His throw of 68.73m (225-6) in the discus competition at the Pac-12 Championships broke his own NCAA record and became the farthest mark ever by a collegian, eclipsing the 68.16m (223-7) set by UCLA's Julian Wruck in the 2013 Claremont Throws exhibition meet. In total, Alekna has broken one world record (19yo men's discus), one national record (U23 Lithuania men's discus), one facility record (Aztrack Sports Deck) and four meet records (Cardinal Classic, Aztec Invitational, Big Meet, Pac-12 Championships).

"This is a great honor," said assistant coach Mohamad Saatara, who leads the throws squad. "Mykolas has been diligently working toward exceptional performances this year, and is now reaping the rewards of that work."

Alekna will return to the ring on Friday, May 27 at 11:00 a.m. PT at the NCAA West Region Preliminary Round, where he and 47 other men's hopefuls will compete for a coveted spot at the 2022 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
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