SACRAMENTO--Back when the Brooks Beasts were formed in 2013, one of the big hopes that many of the sports marketing folks of the Seattle-based company had for the team was that someday, people in the Seattle community would embrace the team in the same way that the city embraces the other professional sports teams.
While it may be unrealistic at this point for the Beasts to be like the city's pro squads, they may have taken a big step on a hot day in Sacramento on the final day of the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Hornet Stadium on the campus of Cal State Sacramento.
In the men's 800, Penn State alum Cas Loxsom, who took a chance on his pro career by moving to Seattle after graduation to train under Beasts coach Danny Mackey, finished second behind winner Duane Solomon, running 1:45.97 to Solomon's 1:44.30.
A conversation paulmerca.blogspot.com with Brooks sports marketing manager Jesse Williams Saturday proved prophetic, as Williams stated that throughout the rounds, Loxsom gained more and more self confidence, partly due to being around 2013 world championships silver medalist Nick Symmonds, who is a member of the Beasts.
In the final, Loxsom took a chance and tucked in behind Solomon, with Solomon going through 400 at 49.66, and Loxsom the only other to break 50, with 51.04 the split for eventual third place finisher Erik Sowinski.
Solomon went through 600 in about 1:16, with Loxsom behind, and his willingness to go with Solomon was rewarded with his runner-up finish.
“I’m so happy. I really held off on trying to close until the last 70. We had talked about if it was real hard to kind of back off and have something left at the end. It's one of the best track and field moments of my career so far and I’m really happy with it,” said Loxsom.
In the women's 1500, University of Washington alum Katie Mackey got the Brooks Beasts its second podium finish, as she took a solid third in a time of 4:07.70, behind winner Jenny Simpson (4:04.96), and runner-up Mary Cain (4:06.30).
Like Loxsom, Mackey stayed near the front and stayed out of trouble for most of the race, maintaining contact with the leaders.
In other events, former Bellingham resident Donn Cabral, who has relocated to the East Coast, finished third in the 3000 steeplechase, running 8:20.04.
Washington alum and American record holder Brad Walker finished fifth in the pole vault, clearing 18-0 1/2 (5.50m).
Washington State alum Jeshua Anderson finished fifth in the 400 hurdles, running 50.24.
Complete results from the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships are available here.
In Moncton, New Brunswick, University of Washington alum Kyle Nielsen placed third in the javelin at the Canadian Track & Field Championships on Saturday.
Nielsen launched a throw of 243-1 (74.11m).
In Birmingham, England, current Husky and reigning Pac-12 champ Jax Thoirs finished eighth in the British national track & field championships in the pole vault Sunday, clearing a best of 17-2 3/4 (5.25m).