St. Mary's senior William Beardsley exits high school career the Pacific and DODEA Far East meet record holder in track's 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs and cross country meets.

St. Mary's senior William Beardsley exits high school career the Pacific and DODEA Far East meet record holder in track's 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs and cross country meets. (Dave Ornauer/Stars and Stripes)

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan – Many a track or cross country runner might be satisfied merely coming in first place in their most recent race. If they happen to set a record in the process, so much the better.

William Beardsley says he rarely, if ever, is satisfied with any of his races.

The St. Mary’s senior says he prefers to break down every run he makes, determining what he did well, but also what he could have done better.

“I don’t really think there’s a ‘perfect race’ that I would run,” Beardsley said.

The holder of every Pacific cross country and track and field 1,600- and 3,200-meter races says his mindset, to always seek better times and performances, behaves as both a blessing and a curse.

“It always keeps me wanting to run faster,” Beardsley said. “Once you reach perfection that I don’t think anybody can reach, you plateau in your mind. I’m always thinking of how to run faster, how to lower my times, how to win races.”

That’s one thing Beardsley has done plenty of during his four years in Titans blue and gold. Win. A lot.

He has the 1,600 and 3,200 records for his school, the DODEA-Pacific Far East meet and the Pacific region and also the Kanto Plain league record in the 1,600.

On April 13, he was timed in 4 minutes, 15.12 seconds in the Kanto 1,600 at Yokota. In the Far East meet again at Yokota on May 2 and 3, he ran the 1,600 in 4:11.62 and the 3,200 in 9:09.07.

All of that came six months after he broke the Pacific’s cross country record. He was the first to break 14 minutes on the 2.9-mile Tama Hills course. He broke the Asia-Pacific Invitational 5-kilometer record with a 15:24.5, then two days later rewrote the Far East meet and Pacific region record in 15:18.2.

Most of those races saw Beardsley well in front of the field, occasionally being challenged by Kai Liljequist or Sam Barbir of American School In Japan.

Running by himself is “very difficult,” Beardsley said; thus, rather than just competing against the clock, he says he looks at the performances by high school runners in America or Britain.

“So that keeps me going,” he said. “Even at the start of my 11th-grade year, I was constantly comparing my times to American high school runners nationally. In cross country, I was comparing my times to the States and internationally, too.”

As for what’s to come now that his high school career is over, Beardsley will run cross country and track for Michigan of the Big Ten Conference. He confesses to some anxiety about that but feels he can compete at that level as well.

“I’m nervous to some extent, but I’m also confident of my ability I have potential to grow. I feel I have a lot of room to grow,” he said. “I have a lot of goals. I want to give my all to the sport and go where it takes me.”

Might somebody come along to top his Pacific achievements? While he says he hopes he can hold onto his records for a while, “there probably will be somebody in 10, 20 years, maybe sooner,” Beardsley said.


Age — 18.

Place of birth — Tokyo.

Sports played besides running — Basketball, soccer, cycling.

Favorite school subject — English.

Least favorite school subject — Economics.

Athletes he looks up to — Mo Farah, British-Somali distance runner; Stephen Curry, NBA guard and distance shooter.

Favorite artist — Kendrick Lamar.

Favorite TV series — Peaky Blinders.

Favorite movie — The Hangover.

Pacific high school, DODEA-Pacific Far East track and field meet records — 1,600: 4 minutes, 11.62 seconds; 3,200: 9:09.07, May 3, 2024.

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Dave Ornauer has been employed by or assigned to Stars and Stripes Pacific almost continuously since March 5, 1981. He covers interservice and high school sports at DODEA-Pacific schools and manages the Pacific Storm Tracker.

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