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The 4x1 in 2003
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Conway
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2002 2:53 pm    Post subject: The 4x1 in 2003 Reply with quote

Its been along time since we've had a 4x1 WR !!! Oddly enough as the sprinters have gotten faster from the mid 90's forwards, the 4x1's haven't !!!! I'm thinking that next season should see a change to that ...

The US has the only sub 9.80s in history in Greene and Montgomery ... And a slew of sub 10's ...

Britain has 2 sprinters equal (in my opinion) to the top 2 guys on either of the two 37.40's that were run ...

Canada is no longer a factor ... But Jamaica is intriguing ... Cuba and Nigeria always seem to put together solid squads .. While I think the record should be under 37 sec, I would like to see 37.20 next year ... How does it look to the rest ofyou for next year ???
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Dan
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2002 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that the problem is the WC/OG aren't really conducive to running a relay record, yet that's about the only time teams are assembled with any sort of purpose. I would say a relay record is less likely than a men's open sprint record.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2002 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan, Conway, I agree with both of you (who said that? Surprised )... the WC's and OG's aren't conducive to running a record since the teams are only briefly assembled and I also feel that the 4x1 should definatly be under 37.2.

I think if the US can put together 3 descent hand offs they definitly have the runners to go sub 37.2 and then some. Of coarse that has been the story for a while. Britain has two darn good sprinters but I have too think that their 3 and 4 aren't as good as ours, of coarse if they handle the stick better than we do that won't matter. And of coarse there are Cuba, Nigeria, and Jamica countries that are gifted with many talented sprinters. But what about Brazil they've won medals at the last two Olympics in the 4X100 with two totally different teams I'd think they'd be in the mix as well.
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Dan
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2002 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brazil and Poland are among those interesting countries that get it done year in and year out with few individuals of note. Makes me wonder if it's superior teamwork or if their individuals could actually be more competitive if they placed a bit less emphasis on team...

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2002 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't think of too many (actually zero) inidivual sprinters from Brazil or Poland, which leads me to think that they probably focus on the team more in order to achieve glory. After all if I go over to your house for dinner I'm more impressed by a bronze or silver medal from the 4X100 thats displayed on the mantle than I am with a story about placing 7th in the 100 open. Another reason for their success could be those darn hand offs that are almost always at falt when the US looses. Because (at the risk of sounding like one of those arrogant American pigs) the 4x100 relay has pretty much been the USA's to loose for quite a while now.
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Conway
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2002 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm curious as to why Dan doesn't think the WC/Olys are not conducive to WR relays ??? Most records have been set in that environment !!! You have the top sprinters at their best ... Running against other top sprinters iwho are at their best ... That is a conducive environment !!!!

Now baton passing is a problem for the US as we don't seem to do a very good job of getting our people together to work at it .... We use mediocre hand offs with superior overall speed ... When they open it up you have two possibilities: very fast times OR disaster ....

SQuads like Poland and Brazil use very good speed with great chemistry .... And that is a great combination ... I ran on squads like that in HS and college and we always outran faster teams .... If the US could get a solid camp for say 4 weeks ... And actually learned to work together and like each other, they could go sub 37 !!!!!
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Dan
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2002 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Most records have been set in that environment !!!

Because there are few other top flight opportunities, so the law of averages would tell us that if a relay record is going to be broken, it will be at those meets. That's not the same as saying it is likely to happen there, just that it is much less likely to happen at the dozen or so big GL/GP meets that don't have any relays...

Why I don't think the WC/OG isn't overly condusive? Well, the emphasis is on individual events with most of the countries with good enough runners to challenge a relay record. That affects the athletes' preparation during the meet, plus has the well known side effect of the top teams (i.e. the US) not getting much practice time in as a squad. Then there's the multiple rounds. Under non-championship circumstances that might be a good thing, but the top squads generally don't run the same people in each round (going back to the individual emphasis thing), so not only is continuity not gained, but it is probably lost. Finally, the relay finals usually bookend the most important sprint finals, if I'm not mistaken.

Quote:
I ran on squads like that in HS and college and we always outran faster teams ....

Yes, but you probably raced weekly or more, 4 years straight with mostly the same people. You ran for a team, not an extra opportunity at an easy medal.

In hind sight, too bad we were so hard on the HSI crew in '00 when they wanted to do the relay right with all training partners...

Dan
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Conway
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2002 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You make valid points ... However ... I've run lots of pick up relays with outstanding results ... Depending on the guys often better than my own squads .... Of course usuallly with faster guys ...

My point being is that relay running is like riding a bike ... Once you learn it well it is really easy to do ... The big key is learning to judge the speed of teh incoming runner ... Developing a "break point" on the track is a one workout job - unless someone is not at full strength ... From that point it is the repetition of getting the hand to hand coordination together ...

Guys with experience should be able to do this with a minimal amount of time .. AT least to the point of being able to maintain speed through the zone ... That should be sufficient to break the existing WR with speed the likes that Mo and Tim possess - not to mention the addition of guys like Drummond or Williams or several others ....

Now the additional work done by the Polands and Russias of the world allow you to actually make up time through the zone ... Which in essence enables them to run faster than the sum of their times ... THAT kind of ability bby a US squad would put the 4x1 record near 36.00 - or better !!!
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2002 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You really think that kind of familiarity can be built in a single workout? Maybe enough to get lucky in a one-off race, but that seems like roughly the same formula that has led to disaster on many occasions for the US squad...

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Justin
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2002 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a regular occurence at major champs...the US produces an unknown for a relay team (often 4x4) and the commentators in the UK point out that they are inexperienced and so a weak link, at which point they run 43.8 or something and win the race. They forget that any decent US sprinter probably runs more relays than individual events and is very experienced at it. This is not true of any other nation - whereas any US sprinter will already be a good relayer, there's a good chance that a UK sprinter only ever runs relays for the national team.

The result...the UK drops the baton, the US usually doesn't. The US can put together 4 fast guys, know they are all experinced relay runners. This should be enough to beat almost anyone, no matter how well drilled.

However...remember France! In 1990 a team of Moriniere, Sangouma, Trouabal and Marie-Rose broke a WR which had been set by a US team of Graddy, Brown, Smith and Lewis, all of them faster than the fastest Frenchman. It can be done - a glance at the 'overperformance' of teams like Ukraine, Poland etc shows that.

A UK team of Gardener, Campbell, MLF and Chambers looks very fast. The difference from past years is that no-one is going to come by Chambers in the home straight, not even Mo Greene or Tim Monty. But nor will Chambers go by them. Man, imagine Chambers and Greene getting the batons at the same moment, in adjacent lanes...I'd pay ANY money to see that! That's what would drive a WR, not to mention a couple of 8.7 final legs to place alongside Bob Hayes' from 64.

But the chances are the UK would be handicapped by poor changes. And the US could replace all but Tim and Mo with sub-10 men, the UK can't.

Really exciting, all told. I agree that 37.25 is possible with fast men (got those) and fast changes (oops).

Justin
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Conway
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2002 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan wrote:
You really think that kind of familiarity can be built in a single workout? Maybe enough to get lucky in a one-off race, but that seems like roughly the same formula that has led to disaster on many occasions for the US squad...

Dan


Not in a single workout, but in a series of single workouts ... As Justin said US athletes are familiar enough with running relays that what is really needed is assimilating the measurements and a little timing ... Relay running is really not that hard !!!! BUT, the margin for error is incremental .... And as I said before the difference between a record and disaster is within the blilnk of an eye ...

And as Justin said 37.25 this next year is possible ... Or not ... Wink
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Dan
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2002 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I could agree with that. However, as used to relay running as most American sprinters are, to what extent are they really used to running with people as fast or faster than themselves? If they don't get extensive practice time, they're ingrained timing is probably clicking in the wrong gear...

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Conway
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2002 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The speed of the others doesn't matter ... One key in 4x1 running ... And that is the placement of your "go mark" on the track ... Once you learn how to do that, the rest is a piece of cake ... As that is the key to the timing ... NOw the other piece is having the experience of handing off and/or passing the baton ... And either you cane do that or not ... But that should be part of the selection process ...
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2002 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But the placement of the "go mark" is dependent on the incoming and outgoing speed, so how well they judge that (practice vs. race discrepancies in intensity, judging acceleration consistently, etc.) can greatly effect their timing in a race. It's all too common for people to second guess their marks when they feel the person is coming in too fast or the outgoing runner is pulling away too quickly, so that consistency in practice is necessary for consistency if they are used to teammates who run at a slower average speed.

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Conway
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2002 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is where I disagree ... And why there are so many dropped batons ... You figure out what your mark is ... And you LEAVE IT ALONE ... Period ... NO changing every other meet ...

It then becomes theresponsibility of the incoming runner to bark out orders if necessary during the race !!! THAT is where you should compensate ... Changing the mark itself almost always leads ot disaster ...

I've coached lots of high school 4x1 for coaches I know .. Every one has gone to state ... And none has dropped a stick ... And between college and high school my own teams dropped the stick once !!!
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