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Cross Country Long Beach Poly Track & Field

Long Beach Poly’s Alexa Bryson Follows Family Tradition to UCSB

The562’s coverage of Long Beach Poly athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Poly alum Jayon Brown and PlayFair Sports Management.

The562’s coverage of Long Beach Poly athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by JuJu Smith-Schuster and the JuJu Foundation.

Long Beach Poly senior Alexa Bryson didn’t want to follow the family tradition…at first. Her dad and brother both competed for UC Santa Barbara in track and field, and although she had followed the family tradition in becoming a Jackrabbit, she wasn’t planning on becoming a Gaucho. Until her visit, that is.

“I didn’t want to go there at first, I wanted to make my own name for myself,” she said. “But after visiting and meeting the team, I realized that it’s the right place for me. The team is great, the coaches are great, the college and city are amazing.”

Bryson dropped time in the 800 and the 1600 this year after a career as a cross country and distance track runner at Poly. She’ll get a look at the 800 and 1500 at the NCAA level, but said there may be a more unique path ahead of her.

“My dad held the steeple record at UCSB and the coach is trying to get me to do the steeplechase, so that’s there too,” she said.

Bryson’s father, Trent, ran for the Gauchos and her older brother, TJ, also ran at Poly and is currently at UCSB.

Alexa said that after a frustrating senior season of cross country in the Fall, she wasn’t sure if she wanted to continue pursuing running. But she dropped time in the Spring and started hearing back from coaches, eventually leading to her UCSB visit where she fell in love with the program and school.

“I was very confused about it all, but as soon as I did the visit and met the team and toured the campus it all unfolded for me,” she said. “As soon as I stepped foot on the campus I knew that’s where I was choosing.”

Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.