Even Daniel Galvin said he himself could not have foreseen running the 800 meters in under 2 minutes this past season. Not after he’d tried the distance a month before the season was scheduled to start and managed a 2:28 time.
“And I was gassed,” the sophomore said, adding, however, that he stuck with an offseason workout plan given to him by Yokota coach and former Hong Kong Olympian Maggie Chan-Roper. “My legs were getting used to it, and it got easier from there.”
Much easier, if his times in that event and the 1,600-meter run were of any indication.
Galvin shattered the Pacific record of 1:57.3, running a 1:56.89 April 19 in Tokyo, then breaking his own record in last month’s Far East meet May 19 at Yokota, clocking a 1:55.54. He also broke the 1,600 record with a 4:23.42 on April 26 at Robert D. Edgren.
For those feats and others, Galvin has been named Stars and Stripes’ Pacific high school boys track and field Athlete of the Year.
It was as golden a season as an individual athlete could have. Besides the 800 and 1,600, Galvin won in the 400, 1,500, 3,000 and the 1,600 relay, winning a Kanto Finals gold in the latter May 10 at Yokota.
The only race in which he did not win was the 3,200 relay, taking second at Far East.
Galvin said in all the other events, he could run faster, but his success in the 800 came out of the blue for him.
“I was really surprised by the result, because I had barely cracked 2 minutes last year,” Galvin said, adding that 1:54 might have been the best time he could have run this year. “Next year, I want to get it down to 1:51 or 1:52.”
He thinks it’s possible for him to run 4:17 in the 1,600 and 9:40 in the 3,200, which would put him in position to threaten the 40-year-old 3,200 record of 9:31 held by Roger Olson of Christian Academy Japan.
“I thought I could have gone faster in the 1,600 and 3,200. Compared to the States, my 3,200 times are subpar."
Galvin’s father, Dan, is a mathematics teacher at Yokota and is not leaving any time soon. As he and many Kanto Plain track observers say, the best may be yet to come from Galvin.