Relays. WE’RE TALKING RELAY’S.
There’s been a lot of talk on Twitter recently about which school should be considered ‘400m U‘. If it was a conference debate, I think it should be the SEC. You never hear enough about “SEC speed” even when it’s not college football season. Baylor has won more than eight 4x400m outdoor titles and then multiple Olympians have passed through the halls of LSU, Florida and Arkansas over the years. But can we just take a look at two stats.
You show me two things that go more together than 400 meter running and Texas A&M University and I’ll believe in Bigfoot. As you can see in the screenshot above, Texas A&M has run the top five fastest 4x400m times ever on the indoor oval.
Now check out Texas A&M’s all-time indoor 400m list:
45.02 – F. Kerley
45.03 – D. Lendore
45.33 – D. Pinder
45.39 B. Taplin
45.81 T. Henry
45.94 H. Davis
45.96 M. Kerley
There’s multiple countries in Europe that would dream of a lineup like that, but that’s what transfer freezing is for.
But let’s move on to this morning’s video. I’m throwing it back to the 2011
NCAA Indoor men’s 4x400m final. I remember being on Spring Break in college, sitting in my dining hall with a few teammates and using the school’s wifi to watch NCAAs. The 4x400m is saved for the last event of NCAAs for a good reason.
This was on A&M’s home turf…on their new track…and they toed the line in an all-SEC final. Four of the fastest teams that year were in the same race. The first leg is a proper one: A&M, LSU, Arkansas hand off at nearly the same point. But the 2nd leg – that’s the leg where the magic happened. I could remember getting goosebumps watching this live back in 2011 and I just got them again watching the race now in 2017.
Demetrius Pinder lays down a smart and very impressive leg. Unlike most 400 meter runners, he sat back during the first 200 meters and then blasted away the field to hand-off in 1st. Oh! He also split a 44.9. Start the race at 50 seconds if you want to see his leg, watch the whole thing if you’re a purist.
Like the commentators said, “What’s home field advantage? You’re looking at it!”