* Ben Greene ran a career best in the 800m at his most recent competition in Maine
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Ben Greene decided to let it loose in the final 200 meters against the state indoor record holder on Saturday.
"I mean, I knew who I was racing against," Greene said recently.
After trailing for much of his 800 meter race against Mahamed Sharif in the the five-team SMAA Indoor Meet at the University of Southern Maine, the Falmouth junior found another gear in the final moments and put down the kick of his life, winning in a new senior division record of 1:56.73.
"It only surprised me in how early in the season he did it," said Greene's coach, Jorma Kurry, Falmouth's head coach for the past 21 years. "I thought he could run that time."
The performance ultimately turned into a hallmark performance for Green, who scored his first sub-2 effort in the 800m and earned an 8-second PR indoors.
Now he's looking to turn that recent success into even more with his entry into a fast high school boys mile at the Dartmouth Relays on Sunday in Hanover, New Hampshire.
Greene knows he could be in store for another PR. His fitness should tell him he's a little faster than his 4:28.50 from December, and maybe even a tad more than his overall career best of 4:27.60, from the New England Championships in 2019.
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It might be that confidence will play a difference in this race, only a week removed from a career best.
"When you run with confidence you run so much better," he said. "I want to carry that confidence at every level I'm running at."
While entries aren't finalized for the mile races, he's likely going to be entered in the fast section on Sunday, against a field that could push him to a sub-4:20.
He knows what's on the line. The Falmouth athlete is hoping for a fast enough time to get him qualified for New Balance Nationals Indoor.
Greene doesn't want to get ahead of himself, but he and Kurry both know the requirements for qualification. He needs to run faster than 4:17.5 to qualify for the Championship section at NBNI. Anything faster than 4:22 will get him into the Emerging Elite section.
"We'll have to see," Greene said. "Obviously, I want to say I'd like to be in the championship. That would be great. But I don't want to get head of myself."
His coach didn't miss a beat.
"Again, it takes being in the right races," Kurry said. "He needs people to face and sometimes around here it's hard to get into a race like that."
This past Saturday he did. Greene faced up against Sharif, the state indoor record holder who went 1:53.72 last March at New Balance.
Greene went out in 28.4 -- a shade behind his competitor. Then he came through in 58 seconds.
"We did a lot of tempo work, some mile repeats," Kurry said of the training in the weeks leading up to the race. "We did some (1,200s and 800s), nothing really speed based."
He was through 600 meters in 1:27.00.
And it was then where that strength training paid off in a big way on the final lap.
A minor surge slightly toward the end of the third lap put Greene within an earshot. Then he made a move on the first curve around Sharif.
"My plan was to go out and stay relaxed and stay in contact," he said. "That last 200 is usually my strongest. I found an opportunity and kicked by him."
The crazy part about that PR was that Greene doesn't even consider the 800m his strongest race.
Perhaps, then, his upcoming effort at Dartmouth could raise even more eyebrows.
"My goal is to just PR and keep getting better," he said. "Just try to compete and do well. I know it will be a fast race. There will be some good competition. I'm excited to run a fast time."
ATHLETES TO WATCH:
Victoria Bossong, Cheverus: A talented sprinter, she's opening at Dartmouth. Her PRs from 2019 include a time of 7.20 in the 55m, 25.12 in the 200m, 39.68 in the 300m and 55.28 in the 400m.
Jarett Flaker, Scarborough (ME): The George Mason signee has already opened his season with a 6.46 second run in the 55m, 22.78 in the 200m, 50.78 in the 400m and 44-9 in the shot put.