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Jan. 14, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The honors continue to roll in for senior Casimir Loxsom (New Haven, Conn.), as the Nittany Lion middle distance standout has now been named United States Track and Field/Cross Country Association Division I Men's Athlete of the Week, announced by USTFCCCA offices on Monday. Loxsom's record performance of 1:46.98 is not only the current NCAA leader, but is also the top time in the world in 2013.
The senior outran the 800 field at the Nittany Lion Challenge, last Saturday, setting new Penn State, Ashenfelter Track, and meet records in the event. Loxsom's performance was enough to better Ryan Foster's previous Penn State best of 1:47.32, set in 2010, as well as his own facility record of 1:47.36 from 2011. Historically speaking, the New Haven, Conn., native is the first collegian to break the 1:47-barrier indoors (on a non-oversized track) since 2006. Loxsom, who is already a three-time NCAA qualifier in the indoor 800, now stands 10th all-time among American-born collegians.
Loxsom led a stellar showing by the Nittany Lion middle-distance contingent on the weekend, which included freshman Brannon Kidder (Lancaster, Ohio) posting a PR effort of 1:48.17 in the same race, which currently stands second, nationally. Meanwhile, senior Ricky West (Toronto, Ontario), and freshman Za'Von Watkins (Liverpool, N.Y.) went one-two in the 1000-meters, thanks to finishing times of 2:21.95, and 2:22.02, respectively. The 1000-meter duo also holds the first two spots on the current national list, as well as the third and fifth best performances in the Penn State record books.
All told, the Nittany Lions totaled 17 victories on the weekend.
The USTFCCCA Athlete of the Week is awarded to six collegiate track and field and cross country athletes (male and female for each of the three NCAA divisions) each Monday by the USTFCCCA office, the National Athlete of the Week Award will spotlight exceptional performances by student-athletes from around the nation.
Nominations are open to the public. Coaches and sports information directors are encouraged to nominate their student-athletes; as are student-athletes, their families and friends, and fans of their programs.