A Record-Breaking 4x800 In Another State, And Then Prom

* Baton Rouge Catholic (LA) earned a U.S. No. 2 time in the 4x800 on Saturday at the Mobile Challenge of Champions

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Baton Rouge Catholic was ready for a special effort. For the kind of performance that would re-set a school record and shed a light on the program at the national level. 

They only needed the destination. 

And on Saturday, at the Mobile Challenge of Champions on the campus of UMS-Wright in Alabama, the foursome of Steven Mayer, Daniel Sullivan, Harrison Thomas and Winston DeCuir achieved that feat, clocking the country's second-fastest 4x800 time in 7:47.77 and leaving St. Paul's Episcopal roughly six seconds back.

On top of that, it was a new meet record, a new school record and new Louisiana state mark, surpassing Ruston's 7:53.50 from just this year ... which was run at Catholic, in a meet where the team finished second in 8:00. 

"Our goal was to try and break our school record, which is 7:53," Catholic distance coach Trey Henry said. "They thought 7:52 was reachable, so that was kind of our goal. I laid out the splits. I said, 'We can do it if we hit these splits.

"We weren't chasing people, we were chasing records." 

"I even made a joke before, two of them were trying to make it back for their prom tonight, and they were entered in the mile after this. I made a joke and said, 'If we win the race and break 7:50,  ya'll can leave and you don't have to run the mile.' I never thought they'd do it. So now I have to go back on my word and I told him we're staying to run the mile." 

The performance was so good, Episcopal's time was inside the top 10 nationally, too, landing at U.S. No. 7 in 7:53.27. 

Mayer led things off, hitting 1:57.48 on the clock before Sullivan took the baton, rolling on the second leg in 1:56.96. 

"Steven right here gave me a nice lead going into my leg, Sullivan said. "I knew I couldn't let my team down. So I knew I had to gap them as much as I could." 

Thomas hit 1:59.61 on the clock in the third position before DeCuir, a junior, took it home in 1:53. He had previously run an open 1:55. 

"They all put me in first. I couldn't let them down," DeCuir said. "We weren't chasing people, we were chasing records." 

With time separated by the performance, Henry was still a bit shocked.

"So finally Winston got the stick, and when he came around 200m I said to him, 'If you run 1:58 we're going to break the meet record.' And of course, he ran much faster." 

Catholic's 4x800 Team: 

Catholic Distance Coach Trey Henry: