If you are in New York on Friday night, then you may want to head to Icahn Stadium to witness high school running history. CITIUS MAG has partnered with Trials of Miles to host Track Night NYC, which means a few things: great races, a free stream on YouTube and me and Chris Chavez bantering from the commentator’s booth.
In addition to the slew of professionals that will be on hand, there will be an electric high school senior from Kentucky. Cade Flatt turned heads when he dominated the New Balance Indoor Nationals, winning in 1:48.86, and then providing one of the more entertaining post-race interviews in recent memory. Well, he ran 1:47.04 earlier this outdoor season and is now targeting the national record. I caught up with him ahead of the attempt, and as always, he was fun and confident!
THE LAP COUNT: You haven’t been shy about your intentions in New York. How’s everything feeling leading into Friday’s race?
CADE FLATT: Everything’s been going great the last few weeks. I came into Oxford for a test run 800 as my first outdoor race of the season. It went well running 1:47.04, and now ever since then, I’ve been chasing ghosts in practice — Michael Granville has been out in front of me and in the lane beside me, each workout rep every day. I’m ready. I’ve been doing some crazy things at crazy paces in practice and I’m outworking greatness to be greater. So that’s what we’re at.
SET YOUR REMINDERS TO TUNE IN AND WATCH LIVE ON FRIDAY NIGHT.
THE LAP COUNT: Well, now I have to hear more. What sort of stuff have you been doing in practice?
CADE FLATT: We’ve kind of kept it the same, but have dialed it in on that 800 work. Before the season we were on lighter stuff and doing workout paces at 1:51, when I was really a 1:47 guy. The past few weeks it’s now geared to run 1:46 or even 1:45 — to see how that feels. With that quality we are making it tougher on ourselves, it’s the same but with upped intensity.
THE LAP COUNT: Michael Granville’s mark of 1:46.45 is only a couple of tenths away from the USAs qualifying mark. It’s pretty rare to see a high school guy run against the professionals in a national championship. Is that also on your mind?
CADE FLATT: It’s definitely there at the moment. I think that I’m fit enough to go and get that mark. I’m not planning on just scraping by on that 1:46.45. We’re just gonna have to go and see what happens, but that’s definitely been in the back of my mind. I think I’m there, I just have to put it together.
THE LAP COUNT: At New Balance indoors you completely controlled the race from the front. But now against a higher caliber field do you still have that same plan? Or is it up to the professionals to set the pace?
CADE FLATT: I know a few names in the field who are top guys, like Festus Lagat. So with guys like him, it’s hard to say that I’m going to lead the whole thing. But then again I’m still going out there as a threat and as a dangerous man, like always. I’m not scared of anybody at any level. I have to go out there and stay out of trouble, but I’ll bring some trouble if I have to.
THE LAP COUNT: I saw that 200/400 double (22.01/46.86) Did that meet your expectations of what you would want before an 800?
CADE FLATT: The 46.86 was a pretty nice-sized PR. First time getting out there and running that fast. But in the 200, I think I’m a 21-mid guy, to be honest. That was right after and I was trying to stay safe because I knew I had a big race coming up so that wasn’t all I had there. If I can go 46.8 then I can jog a 52 or 51.5 that first lap in an 800.
THE LAP COUNT: The running world only just recently met Cade Flatt. You bring a bit of a fighter’s mentality to a sport that isn’t really accustomed to that. How’s the reaction been to all of it?
CADE FLATT: I’ve seen some reactions, both positive and negative. People are going to love you or people are going to hate you when you put yourself in a position to be judged in the public eye. That’s part of it and it doesn’t phase me at all. It gives me that extra motivation to the people who say I’m just talk. Well, look at me walk. I think I’m doing a hell of a lot more walking than talking at the moment.
People are coming at me and saying, “he’s trash-talking all of his competitors.” I think I’m a fairly nice guy, but I’m different. It’s just everybody in track and field is so nice that after New Balance I was fired up and said certain things. I’m not out here calling anybody out. I’ve been pretty peaceful, so I think it’s just that people aren’t used to it yet. If it’s a kid that’s mad, it’s someone who’s probably jealous of me. If it’s an adult, they’re probably sitting in their mama’s basement judging me for no reason. So I’m not worried about any of the critics. It’s the supporters who make it fun.
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