Sunday, March 1, 2015

Loxsom breaks American record in 600m for second time this season in winning USA indoors...

ROXBURY CROSSING, MA.—For the second time this season, Cas Loxsom (left/photo by Paul Merca) of the Seattle based Brooks Beasts lowered the American record in the rarely contested 600 meter run, but this time he did it on the biggest stage in American professional track & field, doing so in winning Sunday at the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships at the Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Center outside of Boston.

Loxsom was in clear command from gun to tape, covering the first lap in 23.76, and going through 400 meters in 48.26, before hanging on to take the victory in 1:15.33, .25 seconds faster than his American record set in Albuquerque last month.

His Beasts teammate Mark Wieczorek made a late charge to finish second in a time of 1:16.07 to give the Beasts a sweep of the top two spots.

Courtesy of, here is the race in its entirety.

Afterwards, Loxsom said, "It feels awesome. The title means a lot more to me than the time. If I could run more rounds, I think I could break the world record but that’s something we can look at another year. I’ve never won a U.S. title before and to be with all these great guys and awesome competitors and get a win, that’s a huge deal to me. I always seem to find a way to get a runner-up finish from a potential victory and it was cool to look up at the board and see I had room to clear and so I definitely made sure I finished, but I made sure I enjoyed the end of the race. It was really fun and I’m so glad Mark got second. We put in the work every single day together. So it’s awesome to see that pay off at a championship meet. I think it’s a testament to our training program, our coach and our group. It’s such an amazing feat to come out here and compete like this.”

Wieczorek overall was happy with his second place finish, saying to members of the media, “It feels really good. I’m happy. I knew Cas was the guy to beat today. I train with him every day and I couldn’t be happier for him. I wish I would’ve given him a bit of a run. I think I left too much in the tank. I just got a little too timid. I had to do a lot of work in the back and by the time I got up, Cas was gone. There’s not much better than going 1-2 with your own teammate and one of your best friends. That was really cool.”

In the women’s 600, Phoebe Wright, a Nike sponsored runner who trains with the Brooks Beasts, finished second behind Alysia Montano, running 1:28.00 to Montano’s 1:26.59.  Megan Malasarte of the Beasts was third in 1:28.98, despite a crash that took out several runners in the field, including one of the favorites, Ajee Wilson.

Tacoma’s Brie Felnagle, who is preparing for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Guiyang, China in four weeks, finished third in the two mile in a time of 9:47.73.  Amanda Mergaert of the Beasts was fifth in 9:49.71.

Asked afterwards about the performances of his training group, which includes Loxsom, Wieczorek, wife Katie (who was second in Saturday's mile), Wright, Malasarte, Felnagle, Mergaert, Riley Masters, and Garrett Heath, Brooks Beasts coach Danny Mackey said, "We know indoor track is a preparation for outdoors so we train in that manner.  But I told the team on Monday that part of that preparation is running their best in championship setting.  So they went in with that mindset and executed. The USA has the best track and field competition in the world so it's easy for us the be just on the other side of a few battles, so on top of being really happy and proud of the team, I'm really thankful."

Asked about Loxsom, he said, "He's fun to coach and I'm glad he's here.  He embodies the key traits of the Brooks Beasts.  He loves running, he is deeply proud of the group and wants the team to be the best, he loves competing, he wants to grow the sport.  But when that gun went off today he was cold blooded.  You need that to be successful in this sport."

Washington State University alum Blessing Ufodiama finished third in the triple jump with a best of 43-2.25 (13.16m), as Amanda Smock won with a leap of 43-7 (13.28m).

Camas HS senior Alexa Efraimson was fifth in the women’s 1000, running 2:41.23.  Riley Masters of the Brooks Beasts was fifth in the mile in 4:03.82.

Former Issaquah prep Katie Burnett was fourth in the two-mile race walk in 14:55.78.

Complete results of the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships are available here.

NOTES:  A correction:  Jacob Sealby, who we stated was a Washington State alum in yesterday's recap, only has outdoor eligibility remaining.  He competed as an unattached runner in the heats of the 600, finishing fourth in his heat in 1:19.12.

At the Seattle Pacific Final Qualifier meet, held at the Dempsey Indoor Saturday following the conclusion of the MPSF Championships, Seattle Pacific's distance medley relay team of Jessica Rawlins, Becca Houk, Lynelle Decker and Anna Patti ran 11:47.33.  Decker also ran 2:11.51 to win the 800.  Both marks were NCAA provisional qualifiers, but should be good enough to get them into the national championships in Birmingham, Alabama in two weeks.

Results from the SPU Final Qualifier are available here.

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