3 Quick Questions with Cas LoxsomDyestatMetro interviews Casimir Loxsom, US #2 600 (1:18.72) #4 all-time, set at the New England Championships. Loxsom has recently signed to Penn State University and is scheduled to race in an outstanding 800 field tommorrow at Nike Indoor Nationals.
by Sean Nestor, DyeStatMetro contributor, photo by Jeannette Seckinger
First off, the past week has been pretty crazy for you, running a #4 all-time 1:18.72 and signing to Penn State. Going into New Englands, you had previously lost your state record of 1:20.87 (previously set at the CIAC State LL Championships) and the State Open Title two weeks earlier. How did you mentally prepare yourself and how was this altered after learning Barnabay wasn't in the race?
All I could do after the State Open race was think about how I gave a race away. In a race between a pure sprinter and a more mid-distance oriented runner, the win will go to the sprinter 9/10 times if the race gets out too slow. I ran his race and paid for it. At New Englands, I was racing the clock, not anyone else in my heat. It didn't matter to me that Barnaby didn't run, I came into the race with a set plan to come through in 50 (seconds) and I just did what I was supposed to. The outcome was great and it felt good to break some records and redeem myself. Commiting to Penn State was huge for me too. I clicked with the team and the coaches as soon as I got there. The team is like a family and that is the environment I want to be in.
Earlier in the year, you had a US #1 in the 1000 and were within a very small margin of breaking the state record, with a large margin over the next fastest in both Connecticut and New England. Why then choose to focus on the 600?
A huge part of why I have been successful in the 600 is by becoming used to pushing my limits in events longer than my target racing events. I didn't run my first competitive 600 until the State Class LL meet. Running early season thousands and miles helped me mentally prepare myself to race confidently over 600 meters. It is great that I had success in the 1000, but our goal was to do something big in the 600. Everything really paid off last Friday up in Boston. It keeps me faithful in the way I train to pull off big wins like that at the end of the season.
Q: At Nike Indoor Nationals tommorrow in the 800, you will be racing current national leader Tom Mallon (1:51.79) as well as your long-time rival Terrance Livingston (Great Neck South, NY). Your personal outdoor best in the event is within hundreths (1:51.83) of a second of Mallon, while you and Livingston traded US #1's several times this season. How do you see the race playing out. Do you think it will take the fourteen year-old national record of 1:50.55 to be crowned the national champion?
A: It will be in the back of my mind that there will be a battle over 800 meters down in NYC, almost assured to put out a fast time. While Robby and White are duking it out at the Armoury, I don't want people to forget that our field is just as stacked and we are both shooting for the same national record. I don't know if NSIC will get tactical or not, but NIN won't. We are going to be coming through fast with something to prove. This is the year for the 800 in the U.S. and I can only hope that this weekend foreshadows an absolutely EPIC Nike Outdoor race.