Isaiah Harris of Lewiston ran the second fastest 600 meters in history on Saturday during the Penn State National Open at University Park, Pennsylvania.
The Penn State University sophomore eclipsed the previous world record of 1 minute, 15.12 seconds held since 1999 by Nico Motchebon of Germany when he ran a time of 1:14.96.
However, the former Lewiston High School star won’t get credit for holding the world record. That’s because former Penn State runner Casimir Loxsom of Brooks Running beat Harris by .05 seconds, clocking a 1:14.91 to claim the world record.
Loxsom graduated from Penn State in 2013.
Harris’s performance will stand as the indoor world junior record and as an indoor world junior collegiate record.
“We talked a lot, like we texted, talked on Twitter and stuff like that. We kept in contact, so he’s like a friend now. It’s pretty cool,” Harris said of Loxsom in a Penn State news release. “We were at Oregon at the (U.S. Olympic) Trials and he had dinner with us a few times and hung out with me and (Penn State alum Brannon) Kidder. It’s cool having someone who can push you and be competitive with, but you’re also friends with at the same time.”
“I think it’s a big confidence boost for what I can do in the future,” said Harris.
Last summer, Harris competed at the U.S. Olympic Trials, where he placed sixth in the 200 meters. This season, he ranks second in the Division I ranks in the 800, an event in which he boasts a time of 1:46.65.
Harris believes his recent performance will have lasting benefits in his racing pursuits.
“It’s really going to help me in the 800 meters. When we go out fast in the 800-meters, the first 600-meters I’m going to feel more comfortable knowing that I can run faster than that,” Harris told Penn State athletics. “It’s going to help me overall and hopefully it can lead to a faster 800-meter (time).”