Fast Cas In Search Of NCAA Gold
For Cas Loxsom, the Penn State senior middle-distance man from New Haven, Conn., his college career has spun past so fast it was a blur. But then again, Cas himself is a blur.
Thursday, when the announcements of the participants for the Preliminary Rounds of the NCAA Championships, Loxsom will be the top seed in the East's 800-meter run, not surprising for someone who has been running in the 1:46s since his freshman year.
In fact, as a sophomore he ran a career-best 1:45.31 at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, but finished fourth. The closest he's been to a national title came this winter when he finished a close second to Oregon junior Elijah Greer in Arkansas.
“I have a picture of him beating me at the line and I look at it every day," he told Onward State. "The outdoor finals is shaping up to look just like the indoor finals with me and that kid from Oregon."
Those two have the top two times in the nation this year, but Loxsom out dueled Greer on the 800-meter leg of the distance medley relay at the Penn Relays last month. Penn State won both the DMR and the 4x800 in Philadelphia.
Loxsom can be a bit brash. At the Relays he talked of the "salty taste" left by losing to Princeton in the NCAA Indoors DMR and took delight in quieting the Villanova fans in the 4x8. But when you ran back-to-back 1:46s in those Championships of America, you can excuse some bravado.
Expected to run with Loxsom in the East Prelims of the 800 in Greensboro, N.C., May 23-25 are Columbia junior Harry McFann and Princeton senior Russell Dinkins.
There will be a number of Armory region standouts in other events as well, highlighted by Long Island's Brendon Rodney and Cornell's Bruno Hortelano-Roig in the 200 and Florida freshman Najee Glass (St. Peter's Prep) in the 400.
Cornell soph Stephen Mozia, who hails from North Jersey, comes into the regional with the top shot put of the season (19.20 meters / 63-0) while Rutgers' James Plummer is seeded second in the discus (60.85 / 199-8).
Manhattan senior Tom Bechert will advance straight to the NCAA Champs in Eugene, Ore., in the decathlon after scoring 7,767 points at the IC4A Championships over the weekend.
On the women's side, expect some local advancement in the 800 as Long Island's Charlene Lipsey, a senior at LSU, is the No. 2 seed with UConn's Brigette Mania and Princeton's Greta Feldman not far behind.
Cornell junior Rachel Sorna is the top seed in the steeplechase (9:50.39) while Syracuse freshman Brianna Nerud, last year a star at North Shore High, is in the top five.
Suffern's Jen Clayton is the No. 2 seed in the long jump (6.49 meters / 21-3 1/2) for UCF while Columbia sophomore Nadia Eke is among the top five in the triple jump (13.22 / 43-4 1/2). Another athlete to watch is Princeton freshman Julia Ratcliffe, who has the East's best throw in the hammer (68.80 / 225-9).