ATC Coaches Corner: Q&A with Brandon Lasater

Following his return from a pair of races in Ireland, we sat down with Brandon Lasater of Atlanta Track Club Elite to catch up on his standout season and what’s next. A Georgia Tech graduate, Lasater finished fourth at the USATF Outdoor Championships in the 800m and set a new personal best of 1:45.85 earlier in the season.

Now that the season is almost over, how are you feeling about these past few months?

It’s been a really good season, I finally had the breakthrough I’ve been expecting to for a little while.

What do you attribute that to?

A combination of things. It’s my second year fully training under [coaches Amy and Andrew Begley] so there’s more consistency. And then having good training partners like [Ed Kemboi, Brandon Hazouri, and Patrick Peterson] come in has been really helpful. And just getting into more races that have a higher caliber of competition.

You probably faced off against a higher caliber of runners than you have before this season. How does that feel on the line?

It’s a little bit different and has taken some getting used to. In the past, I would be a little freaked out but now I’ve raced these people a good bit and realized they’re not any different so I’m less nervous.

Your kick has become the stuff of legend. Is that how you’ve always raced?

I wouldn’t say I go into every race thinking, “Yeah I’m going to be in the last place and then kick up.” That usually means I messed up somewhere. I think it’s just because I’m relatively strong aerobically compared to a lot of 800m runners so it’s usually easier to do. But if I’m in that position it means my brain shut off at some point in the race and I checked out. It’s good to know you can do it but not to have to do it.

What was the experience like in Cork [at the Cork City International Meeting] and Morton [at the Morton Games]?

It was really nice. The meets were very well run and all of the people were pretty knowledgeable. At Cork and Morton, they knew all the athletes in the race and we’re excited to have all of them there and had good fields across the board with 12 guys in. All the events were great and over there you get a lot of good fields.

How’d you feel about the USATF Outdoor Championships?

I was really happy to make the final for the first time, but in the final, I messed up again. At 450m in on that curve, Jesse Garn [of HOKA NJ-NY Track Club] was right in front of me and I got a little distracted because he was going between lane one and two. So I just missed when everyone started going so I ended up in fourth. If I had started my kick just 10m earlier I think I would have finished third.

What are your next goals and what’s next for you?

Right now I just want to focus on NACAC [the NACAC Championships in Athletics from August 10-12 in Toronto, Canada] and make the final there. Getting top three there would be a pretty big deal. After that, I’ll have a pretty slow fall, but in the indoor season, I’m going to take it pretty seriously and try to run a pretty fast 1K.

Brandon Lasater with Kendra Chambers and Boris Berian; Photography by: Morton Games

Published: July 2018