* Leo Daschbach during his latest 800m time trial
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Leo Daschbach's personal record hit list continued this weekend.
Two weeks after posting what would have been a new state record mile in a time trial featuring two pacers, the University of Washington signee went at it alone on a local track for another remarkable effort in the 800m, registering a time that a year ago would have been one of only three under the 1:50 barrier.
Both of these efforts followed the announcement by the Arizona Interscholastic Association in March that all school activities were cancelled for the remainder of the season, which officially ended Daschbach's year and his hopes of repeating as state champion in the 800m, 1,600m and 3,200m.
At first, the Highland (AZ) High School senior wasn't sure he was going to go after the state record -- it's one reason why he kept the camera on the finish line.
But after passing through the 400 meter split in approximately 54 seconds, he knew Cibola graduate Bernie Montoya's state record of 1:50.19 was in his grasp.
Daschbach kept things on target through 600m and then gave everything he had on the final 200 meters, crossing the line in 1:49.85, a hand-timed effort that, taking into account human error, was likely closer to 1:49.99. A teammate, hand-timing on his iPhone, clocked the race from the ground level.
Either way, Daschbach's efforts reinforced an idea that came to light in the fall: This elite athlete is driven not only by the country's top athletes around him, but that of himself, too. Just watch this unreal finish from Daschbach at the AIA Division I State Championships in 2019 (below):
Few athletes would have paced it just right on April 13 when he secured that mile time trial in 4:03.07, which would have surpassed his own state record of 4:03.98.
More impressively, he ran the last 650 meters of that race by himself.
On the surface (or at least publicly), only Californian Matt Strangio, another athlete setting his sights on the sub-4 mile, has done a feat similar, posting a 1,600 meter effort of 4:03.57 on April 4.
But the speed required of the 800m is a whole other animal. And this time Daschbach had no pacers. Normally, personal record efforts require a measure of competitive juices, a field of talented opponents to bring out your best. In March, Daschbach raced his only official 800m of the season, finishing in 1:52.38. It was just off his personal best of 1:51.99, which he secured in May of last year at the Arizona Meet of Champions.
But funny thing about personal records, though. When you really want them, few things will stop you.
And this weekend, Daschbach proved that yet again.