The recent frigid weather may be affecting a lot of things around campus, but one thing that’s barely being affected is the training and preparation of the men’s and women’s track and field teams.
Penn State will be hosting the “Penn State National” tonight and Saturday afternoon at the Multi-Sport Facility, in an event that will feature collegiate athletes from 35-40 different institutions, as well as a number of professional athletes.
Coach Beth Alford-Sullivan said that the recent cold weather was “a little bit challenging.”
The group that has been most affected by the weather has been the distance runners. Sullivan said that they “have to run most of their miles outside,” and added that aside from that group that the weather “has not had a big impact.”
“Having this indoor facility is what makes training up here a little easier,” senior runner Casimir Loxsom said.
Penn State has very high expectations for numerous events, one of them being the men’s 4x200 relay.
“We’re looking to challenge the collegiate record on the men’s side,” Sullivan said.
At the Penn State National, a male runner has completed the mile in less than four minutes in six straight years, and Penn State is hoping to make it seven. There are three Nittany Lions with the opportunity to do so.
Loxsom, who broke multiple records in the 800 meter dash in the team’s last meet, and currently holds the fastest time in the world for 2013 in that event, will be competing this weekend in the 600 meter dash.
“It’s kind of a fun event,” Loxsom said. “It’s right in between the 400 and 800, which are right up my alley. I hope to get a good first 400 and then see what happens on that last lap.”
How does Loxsom plan on following up his record-breaking last meet, in which he set the school record in the 800? Loxsom himself says that he thinks he is “in pretty good shape, and can take down a couple records this week.”
Sullivan said of Loxsom, “I think you guys are going to see another record setting run.”
Loxsom remains focused, however, on the bigger picture.
“Even though I’ve already put up a fast time, it doesn’t matter until I do it at the national championship meet,” the senior said.
Sullivan mentioned that she is expecting big things from the field team as well, including seven-foot jumpers, which the team has also had annually.
“We’re expecting great competitions across the board for the field team,” she said.
This is the first high-octane, full speed event for the track and field team this season.
“The first couple of meets you’re kind of getting the season in motion and shaking off the rust,” Sullivan said. “They should be excited for a meet of this caliber and ready to get after it.”