YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan – They only came to Yokota’s Bonk Field intent on entering just one event in Saturday’s Kanto Plain track and field meet.
American School In Japan’s 3,200-meter relay team made the most of it.
With Pacific 800-meter record-holder Britt Sease running the anchor leg in 1 minute, 55.1 seconds, the Mustangs foursome shattered the three-year-old Pacific record. They were timed in 8 minutes, 6.52 seconds, 7.56 seconds better than Zama’s mark set during the 2014 Far East meet.
Junior Emil Balian led off with a two-lap leg of 2:05.7, followed by seniors Ryan Nishida (2:04.2) and Luke Rogan (2:01.5), preceding Sease’s anchor leg. “He was great,” Nishida said of Balian. “I’m very proud of Britt, but especially Emil for stepping up big time.”
Sease and ASIJ have made a habit of breaking records this season; Sease a week earlier ran the 800 in 1:51.89, breaking his own Pacific mark of 1:52.67 set two weeks ago. He first seized the record last season, clocking 1:54.63.
“It feels good, but I couldn’t have done it this time without my team,” Sease said, adding that the three preceding runners made it so Sease had to run only a 2:02 to break the record.
“It’s been an excellent season for us,” Mustangs track coach Ryosuke Suzuki said. Zama’s girls 400 relay group of Ti’Ara Carroll, Gwen Anderson, Tasia Nelson and Faith Bryant broke a Kanto Plain record.
The four were timed in 49.53 seconds, topping the old league mark of 49.89 set by Nile C. Kinnick three years ago.
Saturday was also a day of record breaking and record approaching at track and field meets in two other locations:
At Camp Humphreys in South Korea, Miles Brice of Humphreys recorded the highest high-jump mark this season, jumping 1.91 meters or 6 feet, 3 inches. That equaled the 2016 Pacific best set by Kadena’s Donte Savoy. The Pacific record is 2.0066 set in the 2011 Far East meet by Kadena’s Lotty Smith.
In the Okinawa district meet at Koza City Stadium, three league records fell, two of them broken by Kadena senior distance specialist Wren Renquist.
She ran the 800 in 2:23.48, breaking the old mark of 2:28.5, and the 3,200 in 11:44.68, topping the old record of 11:51.96. The previous marks were set in 2013 by Kubasaki’s Allie Reichenberg.
“She’s been working really hard and feeling good, and today was a great day to get after it,” Kadena coach Maureen Taylor said.
The other Okinawa district mark to fall was in the discus. Kimberlee Bankhead of Zion Christian threw 31.82 meters, beating Kadena’s Jazmyn Sharper’s mark of 30.30 set in 2015.