The Case For Keeping The Team USA Men’s 4x100m Squad Intact

By Anderson Emerole

May 7, 2024

The United States came away from the World Relays with the gold medal in the 4x100m for the first time since 2017 as they clocked a world-leading time of 37.40s. The team was made up of Courtney Lindsey, Kenny Bednarek, Kyree King and 100m and 200m world champion Noah Lyles on the anchor leg.

Team USA has secured a spot at the Paris Olympics but the team that will run at the Summer Games could look very different from this past weekend’s. In an interview with CITIUS MAG, Team USA men’s relays coach Mike Marsh reiterated that the U.S. Olympic Trials next month serve as the baseline for selection to the U.S. relay pool.

The Pros

– If we’ve learned anything from the years of mishaps and dropped batons, practice is important. After the World Relays, it was clear this squad was able to practice well together in The Bahamas. They’re also all based in Florida so they were able to get together beforehand to work on exchanges for the three weeks leading up.

When I spoke to Lyles, he said, “I wish we were in the situation where they could just take us (to Paris) because we already have that chemistry. We already live right next to each other or 15 minutes away. If anything, knowing that we would have a good relay no matter what – even if none of us make it onto the team.” Lyles is a lock for this team.

– King added, “I think the time shows.” The team’s splits in the final were: 10.42 for Lindsey, 8.95 for Bednarek, 9.15 for King and 8.88 for Lyles.

– After speaking with the Team USA coaches, they reaffirmed that what they see in practice is going to dictate what happens with the relays whether that’s who gets selected or who is running which leg.

– In my opinion, Bednarek was the star of this relay. If we’re getting technical, he was splitting 8s on his second leg in the heats and the final. He’s proven himself in the 100m by running a slightly wind-aided 9.91 in Nairobi last month. He’s one that a lot of people are advocating for to get on the relay.

The Cons

– It’s tough to tell someone who wins or finishes second at the U.S. Olympic Trials and wasn’t at the World Relays that you’re keeping them off the team. It’s hard. There’s politics at play. If someone like Fred Kerley gets back to full form, it’s hard to deny him a spot on the relay.

– If I were to try and craft the perfect Team USA relay, I think I would put 2019 100m world champion and reigning 60m world champion Christian Coleman on first. He’d hand off to Bednarek on the second leg. I’d pull in Erriyon Knighton for the third leg before having Lyles anchor. That’s all contingent on practice and a variety of outside factors. I wouldn’t be opposed to the World Relays squad sticking together.

– There’s some room to improve. We’re only in the first week of May and the Olympics aren’t until August. This team can improve their handoffs and speed. Sub-37s is possible. The world record is 36.84 by Jamaica at the 2012 Olympics, which is a whole other discussion.

Anderson Emerole

Anderson Emerole is an analyst and contributor to CITIUS MAG. He runs The Final Leg, a YouTube channel with up-to-date commentary on track and field news.