Sunday, July 3, 2016

It Only Took Me One Day To Get Back To Our Main Meme: PSU IS 800U!

Remember, I didn't make up this meme, but I can take credit for spreading it far and wide.  This moniker pleases many. many Nittany Lions, regardless of their track and field credentials.  And it tics off all the right people, for sure.

As a matter of fact, I celebrate good 800M running no matter from whom it comes.  I just like it more when PSU is bringing it to the fore.  It isn't a boast, it is a celebration of the event and the sport in its full.  And people are listening across the entire country.  I have had nice messages from many, some from other schools encouraging more information.

And more 800M information will be forthcoming when my "day job" allows.  I have rounded up an intriguing team to discuss, compare and revel in the 800M goodness.  This includes record holders from the 1960s, Olympians from the 1970s (Dave Wottle and Yevgeni Arzhonov!), 1980s Nittany Lions and recent PSU standouts and more!  This may come in various formats I am toying with, possibly even a Podcast from Eastern Europe to Blog Central to Western Canada simultaneously.

With the Semi Finals of the Olympic Trials behind us, it is time to honor the long and incredible career of Brannon Kidder at PSU.  His 12th place finish at the Trials indicates just how long a season he has had.  The Brooks Beast team is lucky to have someone with so much upside, especially since he is also a typically high caliber of Nittany Lion in all aspects of life.

And what's to say about our Sophomore-to-be Isaiah Harris?  With 2 other young 800M runners (Shaquille Walker and Donavan Brazier) eclipsing his shining star earlier in the season, it is important to note who is still standing at the end of the season!  Isaiah is also a high caliber of Nittany Lion in all aspects of life. It was a pleasure meeting him at the recent Reunion.  He has had to keep setting new goals every few weeks all season, once the previous one was surpassed with much of the season remaining.  And I'm pleased to note that his 800U bracelet was the last one I had to give out, and he has worn it with pride.  (Next year's wristband edition may have to highlight the Shot Put just to keep the Big Guys from beating me up! Donations to fund them are certainly appreciated!)

Casimir Loxsom has rounded into shape at the right time for a chance to represent 800U on the biggest stage track and field has.  Earlier in his career, he was (unfairly) criticized for being in shape early in the season and trailing off come outdoor championship time.  That certainly isn't the case this year!  I hope he has that one more race in him to make a surge for the podium tomorrow.  (The 800M is one of the hardest events to predict, evidenced by the parade of big name failures already out of the final.)

  • Casimir Loxsom        3rd in heat 1 semi-final       1:45.93
  • Isaiah Harris              4th in heat 1 semi-final       1:45.95
  • Brannon Kidder        8th in heat 1 semi-final       1:48.76  (12th overall)    
Cas Loxsom, in yellow.
Isaiah Harris. Note blue wristband on right wrist!
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