Catching Up With Dawsen Cossalter

(Photo Provided by Dawsen Cossalter)

Personal Records:

100m - 10.80 (that was ran with a 3.0 tailwind)
(Also 10.93 at 1.9, and 10.94 at 0.1 legal tailwinds)

200m - 21.71 (with a legal 1.6 tailwind)
(Also 21.96 0.1 legal tailwind and 22.20 with a -1.0 headwind)

Tell us a little about your beginnings in athletics.  What sports did you play and which ones did you like before high school?

In elementary school, I played baseball, hockey, and soccer all my way through until high school. I then started playing football instead of soccer. After 7th grade, I decided to quit baseball and join track. I think I wouldn't have been the sprinter I am today if it wasn't for me starting track as early as I did. My favorite sports were definitely track and football.

How did you do during State competition for Track?

In 10th grade, I went to state in 100 and 200, but did not make finals in either. In 11th grade, I qialified for State for 100, 4x200, and 4x100. Again, I didn't make finals for the 100. This year (12th grade) was the year I finally ran the 200 correctly. I qualified for State in the 100, 200, and 4x100.  I got 1st place for 200, 2nd place for 100, and 4th place for 4x100. I now own the 100 and 200 school records and am part of the 4x100 and 4x200 school records. I also own the section 200 record with 21.96, and I hold the Polar League Conference record for the 100 an 200.

I watched your football video on MAXPrep.  It's clear you have unusual acceleration.  Even within 2 or 3 yards you can see what you have compared to the rest of the guys on the field.  Is that something you developed or is it natural?  How are you improving it?

I definitely have natural speed. My friends jokingly get mad at me because I don't really hit the weight room (which I really regret doing) and I have natural athleticism. This summer I plan on working out and gaining muscle.

Why did you choose football and track & field for your sports for high school?

I love football because it is unlike any other sport I play. The physicality side of it and the competition made me love it. Our football team was not good so I didn't get much attention but I was all-district for football. Track is totally opposite of football in the mental and physical side of it. I love the feeling of winning but I can't get as jacked for a race. I like to be calm and have no jitters before I race.

Do the sports complement each other?

I don't think football helps track, but I think track helps football.

What is your height and weight?

6-0 and 165 pounds.

(Photo Provided by Dawsen Cossalter)

Is sprinting ability mostly a natural ability, hard work, or is a lot of it improved through mental training?

Esko Coach Gary Beaudot: "I believe Dawsen is naturally fast, he has been our fastest since he stepped onto the track his 10th grade year. We ran a 150m sprint timed with my iPad technique app. (very accurate) early in the year, and he ran 16.05 seconds. I knew at that moment that he was a bit different than last year. He got way better about staying in his drive phase longer this year, and mentally, his confidence soared when he posted fast times early in the season. Qualifying for the Hamline Elite meet and running well there, was also a huge growth experience for him. Dawsen also had the benefit of one of his Hockey Coaches, Erik Hanson, and a UMD and State standout sprinter from Mesabi East to throw him pointers during the last couple of seasons when he had a chance to see Dawsen's races." 

What does Gary Beaudot do to help you as an athlete?  What techniques does he stress the most?

Coach Beaudot: "I am always looking at whether or not he peaks at other runners early in the race, it sometimes keeps him from completing his drive phase. Every race that he stayed down in his drive phase was incredible. He became very good at doing it. I also try to give him one or two little focus things, or confidence type comments. Not sure if they help, but he had pretty good races in some real clutch situations. I try not to over coach, and always listened when he had any little aches or pains. It is not easy to keep sprinters healthy when training in our nasty cold East wind that we had a lot of this spring. Like I say to all of my kids to help them stay loose, is how about some Fast Effortless Running."

A lot what Gary says is true. If you look at my running form, it is very mechanical and loose. That's where I have the advantage over my competitors. In the first third of the race I may be in 3rd place but I run so smooth that I blow by everyone who struggles at the end. Gary has made me the runner I am today.

Do you prefer individual or relay races?  What is your favorite race and why?

I have a love hate relationship with relays. I love bonding with my relay team and contributing but I hate having to worry about my teammates handoffs. I like individual races because I control how I do and there is only one person to blame (ME!). My favorite race is the 200 because I feel so comfortable running it. I feel short changed in the 100 sometimes because I know if I have a few more meters I could catch my competitors.