Loy wins at Mt. SAC, prepares to take on the Big 12


Distance runner Rico Loy leads the pack in the 800-meter run during the Bill Bergan Invitational held Saturday, Jan. 29 at the Lied Recreation Center.

Dylan Montz

After a long weekend of travel to and around California, senior Rico Loy said he felt “surprisingly well” after training at practice Monday.

“We raced on Friday, and now [three days later] I’ve had a bit of time to recover,” Loy said. “A 1,500-[meter run] is different than a 5K. It goes a little bit quicker and so you recover a little bit quicker.”

Last Thursday, Loy notched a victory in the Mt. SAC Relays 1,500-meter run finishing with a time of 3:43.18 and first place out of 121 competitors. Loy said he was disappointed he was not placed in the fastest heat of the 1,500, but after seeing how the faster two heats raced, he would have a shot at running a good time and placing well.

Loy led the entire last lap of the race and said no one really challenged him for the lead when he decided to go for it.

“Someone went with me until 200-[meters] to go, but he [dropped off] and then I was by myself,” Loy said.

ISU coach Corey Ihmels said that Loy really ran a smart race and with his level of fitness, he would do very well.

“I told him before [the race], ‘Take it with 600-[meters] to go if you feel good’ and he did and won going away” Ihmels said. “He looked really good and came back the next day and ran about the same time. He looked pretty good, and if he would have been fresh, he could have come back and run a 3:40 or 3:41. But that wasn’t our objective. Our objective was to come in and run two quality performances.”

Loy said that with the nice weather conditions and California and his level of fitness, he knew he could run to a personal record that day. Loy accomplished that goal by two seconds.

“In the race, I thought, ‘Yeah, I can run really fast [today],'” Loy said. “I felt just great all the way. I wish I would have been in a faster heat, but I’m super happy about [the way I ran].”

Ihmels said that Loy is probably in as good of shape as he has ever been and that training will not be much different for him throughout the rest of the season.

“We’re not doing anything crazy from here on out,” Ihmels said. “The work is done and nothing we do now is going to make us much more fit or better; it’s just a matter of fine-tuning.”

Ihmels also said that Loy’s victory at Mt. SAC and his race the next day at the Bryan Clay Invitational is just another step along the way towards the end of the season, especially the Big 12 Conference meet. Ihmels added that the conference race and Mt. SAC could look similar, competition-wise, for the 1,500-meter run.

“I think he’s going to have to run [3:43] or faster to win the conference,” Ihmels said. “Depending on what we do, the 5,000, 1,500 or both, he’s just going to have to keep doing what he’s doing and keep getting better. He’ll have a few more opportunities this weekend [at the Drake Relays].”