Weimer eyeing 800 meters record
Dustin Weimer has spent a lot of time looking at the track and field records board outside of the Basehor-Linwood High School gym. He knows the name of the guy who currently holds the 800 meter record and he knows that the record was set back in 1986. What he doesn't know is why that record, not to mention a lot of the others, has stood unchallenged for so long.
"I feel that people haven't strived for it, or we really haven't had the people to do it," Weimer said. "We really haven't broken many records since I've been here."
The senior said he could only remember a couple of records falling in his four years, including a girls relay record last year. But, if any BLHS athletes are going to get their names up on the big board this season, Weimer is planning on being one of them. The school's 800 meters record is currently 1:58 and Weimer's best time is 2:03. If the goals of him and his coach, Steve Hopkins, are met, Weimer has a great shot at owning the record when he graduates.
"Our hope is that he can break two minutes and be a state placer," Hopkins said. "He's ahead of where he was last year."
The 800 meters isn't likely to be Weimer's only responsibility. As one of only two seniors on the team he's likely to compete in at least one relay and possibly other events. But Hopkins said he would try not to overstretch him, which should give Weimer more time to focus on his premier race.
"I like to concentrate on one or two events," Weimer said. "My main focus is the 800, but last year I did do the two-mile and a few other events."
Shaving five seconds off a time in order to set a record might not sound too tough, but five seconds in a two-minute race is about 4 percent of the whole thing. It's no easy task and certainly not a sure thing, but Weimer is known as one of the school's hardest workers. He's in great condition after a grueling wrestling season in which he earned his first trip to the state tournament.
Aside from lots of practice and conditioning, Weimer has been working out a mental strategy for shaving the five seconds off his 800 time. The race is two laps long and he said the key to breaking the record would be pushing himself early.
"I've got to make my first lap faster," Weimer said. "Last year my best first lap was 58 seconds. To break the record I'd need about a 56. Then, in the second lap, I'll just have to start sprinting a little earlier."
Weimer has the focus, the conditioning and the plan necessary to break a record this year. Now all he needs is the right venue. A prime opportunity might be at the April 7 Bobcat Relays. With the home crowd behind him it could be a historic day for Weimer and BLHS.