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Long Beach State

LBSU Notebook: Aiden Pastorian Makes Track & Field History, Women’s Golf Earns Awards

The562’s coverage of Long Beach State athletics for the 2022-23 season is sponsored by Marilyn Bohl.

Long Beach State freshman Aiden Pastorian made track and field history this month by becoming just the fifth thrower at the Beach to break 60 feet in the shot put. He did so at the USATF U20 Championships in Oregon and had a phenomenal day while completing the feat.

Pastorian’s third throw of the day went 62 feet and 0.5 inches feet for his personal best and podium worthy finish. That throw was nearly six feet further than the junior’s previous best. It’s also the third best in LBSU program history in the shot put. Pastorian is just the fifth LBSU thrower to surpass 60 feet in the shot put. The last one to do it was Vic Martin in 2015.

Women’s Golf

Kristina Ponomaraeva, Angelina Kim and Madison Le made the WGCA All-American Scholar list for their efforts last season. The WGCA All-American Scholar program recognizes student-athletes who maintain a high level of academic achievement in addition to consistent participation in collegiate golf. They must meet participation minimums for the season as well as hold a cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.50 or higher.

Ponomaraeva, who was recognized for the second consecutive year, is majoring in applied mathematics. Kim is majoring in marketing, and Le joined the duo in her first season in the program as a public relations major.

The women’s golf program and head coach Alyssa Waite also added Lexi Nielsen as an assistant coach this month.

“I have a lot of belief in this program, and I am looking forward to growing alongside the team as we find success this season,” Nielsen said in an official release.

Nielsen played five seasons at Sonoma State where she was a team captain and All-America Scholar. She set the individual round record of 66 with the Seawolves and was named All-CCAA in three seasons.

After graduation, Nielsen spent last season working with Holy Names University in Oakland as an assistant coach for both the women’s and men’s programs. Both teams reached the postseason and each had a team tournament victory over the course of 2022-23.

“I am very excited to have Lexi on board,” Waite said in an official release. “She brings experience and perspective from coaching on the men’s side of college golf as well as playing experience on the women’s side. I believe she will make an impact right away with her philosophy around the mental game; one that aligns with my own and what we’re trying to build with the program.”

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JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.