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March 2, 2022

Catching up with Ashland’s Trevor Bassitt After His U.S. Indoors 400m Win

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Amongst the many Nike and Adidas uniforms at the USATF Indoor Championships was one from Ashland University. Although Trevor Bassitt is best known as a 400 meter hurdler with a personal best of 48.80, he is also fast when presented with an oval void of obstacles! On Sunday he broke the tape in 45.75 to win his first national title and qualify for the World Championships in both the open 400m and the 4x400m relay. After seeing this tweet on my timeline, I knew he was someone The Lap Count readers needed to hear more from.

THE LAP COUNT: Congratulations on the win this weekend! Was that your expectation going in? When you were looking at the field beforehand did you consider Brazier as a threat being such an X factor?

TREVOR BASSITT: I felt like if I went in and ran a season’s best, then I’d have a chance to win. In an absolute worst-case scenario I felt like I should make the relay. When I was checking the entries I thought it was interesting, but I didn’t think about it until I watched his prelim. He was in last and then the final 200, he did what 800 runners do and finished really strong. And I was like, okay, I need to keep my eye on him to see where he’s at after the first lap because I knew he wasn’t going to get out as fast as me.

THE LAP COUNT: You obviously have no problem getting out. Could you tell me a little bit about your background and how you ended up at Ashland? I saw you ran 55 seconds for 400-meter hurdles in high school, which is obviously good, but it doesn’t necessarily say, I’m going to be world-class one day!

TREVOR BASSITT: I ended up at Ashland mainly because of Coach Clark and Judd. The culture was unbelievable, but also hardly any Division 1 schools wanted me. But at Ashland, I knew I could develop. I had never run the 400 hurdles before that race at nationals because we run the 300 hurdles in Ohio. It also was a month after state so I wasn’t in any sort of 400 hurdles shape. I didn’t want to do the 400 hurdles as it’s not necessarily as fun of a race to run. But my coaches kept saying that I’d be good at it so I just kept doing it and piecing it together. And now we’re here.

THE LAP COUNT: Looking back at the Olympic Trials, you fell a bit short of making the team, but as a collegian were just happy to be there or was that a disappointing experience?

TREVOR BASSITT: It was definitely disappointing. I went 48.80 at the beginning of June and I had the standard. I thought 48.30 was the number I’d need to make the team. But at practice that following Tuesday I had this shooting pain in both ankles. It turned out to be tendinitis — the tendon and sheath were both inflamed. My ankles were screaming, like, please stop running! So all I did for the month of June leading up to it was assault bike workouts.

I didn’t run again until that day of the first round of the 400. I tried to do a shake out in the hotel parking lot the morning of the first round and was in excruciating pain. I didn’t know if I’d be able to run it. I was taking every anti-inflammatory you can think of. I warmed up in my normal running shoes, but for some reason, when I put my spikes on the pain was gone.

Maybe it was like my range of motion or something, but God helped me out. I was like, okay, I can run with little to no pain. That’s all I need! I made it through the first two rounds, and by the final round, I felt good enough that I thought I could make the team. But it was the third day and I hadn’t run in forever. I left disappointed, but looking back, it’s cool to be there, although I should have finished better.

THE LAP COUNT: With the World Championships in Eugene this year, what do you now have to do to step up to that next level? Not only in the US, but to be in the medal conversation with the likes of Karsten and Rai?

TREVOR BASSITT: I’m very much a speed-based runner. You can kind of see that this past weekend. I need to become a better hurdler. I have split 44.3. The typical buffer between your flat and hurdles time is supposed to be around like 2-2.5 seconds. And if I can get there, I’m going 47-mid, 47-low. And then I’m putting my name right in there. I need to keep getting better in the second half of the race. That second curve at 200 or 300 is super tricky for me because that’s when you’re first getting tired. And if I can pick apart one microcosm of the race it’s that eighth hurdle. It freaks me out like I am going to hit someone else’s.

THE LAP COUNT: I’m getting excited to see you hurdle again! But first, what are your goals for World Indoors? Being the man coming out of the US Champs, I’m assuming there are medal hopes.

TREVOR BASSITT: I’ve always kind of gone by the philosophy that it’s not about running a personal best, it’s about who crosses the line first. The goal is to leave there with two gold medals and if I run fast times with it, awesome. If not, I won two World Championships.

THE LAP COUNT: You just finished your MBA and have one season of eligibility left. Scrolling through your Instagram feed it appears that you’ve taken advantage of the new NCAA NIL rules. How’s that been going?

TREVOR BASSITT: I reached out to just about every company because the worst thing they can say is no. I have three main sponsors right now: BOSU, Breath Belt, and Vantrition. Each one is a bit different whether it’s a discount code with commission or a monthly stipend and product. It’s not too much, but it’s nice to make a little extra money as a college kid, especially as a Division II track athlete.

Hey, I saw you like my short-shorts!

THE LAP COUNT: Oh we do! Anytime sprinters rock a pair it wins over the distance crowd. When did that start?

TREVOR BASSITT: I was going back and forth about it because I thought my legs were too big — I didn’t know if I could pull it off. But I just said screw it and started wearing them. I love it, they’re incredible. It feels free and there is a nice breeze!

I’m not sure if I’ll wear them at Worlds because I tried on the USA speed suit at team processing and it was awesome.


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