At some point Eastside track and field coach Franky Iverson looked at the school record for the 1600 meter run and determined that had been a record too long.
On Thursday, during the Eagles’ home track meet against Alcovy, Iverson pinpointed junior Anthony Thomas and, before the meet, gave him a two-word directive – one that Thomas knew exactly what it meant.
“He said, ‘it’s time,’” Thomas said. “Me and my coach definitely talked about it, and he said today I need to break it. He said it’s been the record for too long, so it’s time for it to go.”
To be exact, it was an eight year mark that Thomas broke when he finished the 1600 with a time of 4:44 – five hundredths of a second faster than the previous standard bearing mark of 4:49 set back in 2009.
Iverson said Thursday’s feat was, indeed, no surprise.
“He’s capable,” Iverson said. “Anthony’s been strong. He’s been looking good since he first got out here. When we saw him run cross country, he looked good. And so we just figured that if he pushed it on this first meet, let’s go ahead and break the record and get it done. He’s an 800 (meters) guy, but we ran him just to see if he could break the record.”
Thomas didn’t disappoint, either. He jumped out fast from the start and was never really threatened. He even lapped two runners along the way, although, according to Thomas himself, he thinks he could’ve posted an even faster time.
“Honestly, when I started the race, I thought I slowed down too much, so I thought I’d only run about a five minute time,” Thomas said. “I thought I was running too slow.”
Now that he got the record out of the way, Thomas said he’s aiming for the same in the 800m which is his natural event.
“I consistently run about two minutes flat in it, and I want to shave that down,” he said.
He got closer during the Candace Hill Invitational at Rockdale High School on Friday, when he finished second in the 800 with a time of 1:59.88, losing out on first place by a hair to Rockdale County’s Sulaimane Bangura who was clocked at 1:59.43.
Thomas said he wants to take about five seconds off that time and be a consistent 1:55 in the 800. And he knows exactly how he needs to go about making it happen.
“I’m pretty confident about it,” Thomas said. “People have always told me that I’m fast and that I could do this, which is why I decided to run. Now I just need to keep listening to the coaches and keep training and see what happens.”