NASSAU, Bahamas—Cas Loxsom (left/photo by Kirby Lee, Image of Sport) of the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts helped Team USA turn in a dominating performance in the men’s 4 x 800 meter relay, as the Americans took home the gold medal in that event Saturday night at the IAAF World Relays at Thomas Robinson Stadium.
After an opening leg by Duane Solomon of 1:47.60, Erik Sowinski used a 1:44.75 split to break away from Kenya’s Nicholas Kipkoech and give Loxsom a 15 meter lead at the exchange.
Loxsom stretched the lead to nearly 20 meters with his 1:45.59 split, then handed the baton to Robby Andrews, who held on with his 1:46.90 as Team USA finished in a time of 7:04.84, setting a new meet record.
Kenya crossed the line second, but was disqualified for starting the second exchange behind the start of the 20-meter zone, promoting Poland to second (7:09.98) and Australia third (7:16.30).
Loxsom said, “It means the world. A lot of times, scored meets like these are a matter of momentum. And to win a medal for our country, I’ve won a silver at the junior level but this is my first gold medal and it’s a pretty phenomenal experience. We kind of went in as the underdogs. Coming into this race, I told Robby that we were going to be the hunters. I thought it would be closer and we’d be trying to edge Kenya but we were really tactical at the end and it was just a phenomenal experience. To go out and run the way we did, that’s a hard relay to execute that way. This was just such a fun experience and nothing beats a victory lap with your flag.”
At the Payton Jordan Invitational at Cobb Track and Angell Field on the campus of Stanford University, Garrett Heath finished second in the men’s 5000, running 13:16.31, while Riley Masters was fifth in 13:17.97, as both easily ran under the world championships standard of 13:23.00.
Washington alum Katie Mackey of the Beasts ran 15:16.60 to finish ninth in the women’s 5000 and get inside the standard of 15:20.
Nick Simmonds of the Beasts finished tenth in the 1500, running 3:44.22.
In the men’s 10000, Bellingham native Jake Riley of Hanson’s/Brooks finished 14th in the top section, running 27:59.37, a personal best.
Washington alum Lindsay Flanagan, now competing for Mizuno, finished seventh in the second section of the 10000 with a huge personal best of 32:22.15, while Megan Goethals, now running for Hanson’s/Brooks was 24th in 33:20.01.
NOTE: The IAAF, USA Track & Field, and Stanford University contributed to this report.