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TOKYO – He hadn’t run the 800 since he was in the eighth grade. And Britt Sease said he had no illusions about even breaking two minutes, much less coming close to breaking a northwest Pacific record.

Yet, that’s what the American School In Japan junior 400-meter specialist did on Saturday at Oi Pier Ground Stadium near Tokyo International Airport. He ran 1 minute, 54.63 seconds in the 800, topping the two-year old mark of 1:55.54 set by Yokota’s Daniel Galvin.

“It didn’t even occur to me that I could have broken the record,” Sease said after the race. “I was surprised when I heard that there was a possibility … Now, I’m just really excited.”

Sease normally runs the 400 for the Mustangs, though he also runs for the ASIJ cross-country team at distances of 5 kilometers or greater. Coach Ryosuke Suzuki said he wanted to experiment with Sease in the 800 on Saturday, and now must decide whether he wants Sease to continue.

Sease admitted he was “never really that good” at the 800 when he ran it in middle school, before he settled on the 400. “I did not know what to expect for this run,” he said. “I was nervous, but I wasn’t extremely nervous.”

He said his goal was to run the first 600 meters in 1:27 to 1:29, and by the time he got to the final 200, he said he felt “as good as he could feel” while running an unfamiliar race. As it turned out, he did clock the first 600 in 1:27 and kicked the rest of the way.

“Even then, I didn’t think breaking the record was possible,” Sease said. “When I first finished, I was confident that I had broke two minutes. I feel I could have run faster because I was pacing myself a little too much” between 400 and 600 meters.

Whether Sease will keep running the 800 is “up in the air,” Suzuki said. “We’ll see what happens.”

If he does continue, Sease said his goal is to cut his time by “at least a second.”

Sease very nearly broke the region record in the 400 a week earlier, finishing second to Kinnick’s Jabari Johnson, who overtook Sease in the final 100 meters. Johnson ran 48.66 seconds to Sease’s 48.81.

It was the sixth northwest Pacific track and field record to fall this season. Johnson broke his own records in the 100, 200 and 400; Sease’s teammate Evan Yukevich took down the 1,600 record; and Yokota’s Christian Sonnenberg broke his own discus record.


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