Track and Field relay question

psycho_dad

Well-known member
I'm wondering if my memory is correct or not. I remember as a kid watching the olympics even as late as 88 when Butch Reynolds anchored the 4x400 and I think they just random drew the lane assignments. USA won from lane 2 or something. I remember them being in lane 8 or 9 too. In high school, I remember when I ran hurdles 110 and 300 that lanes were drawn prelims to finals, but I don't ever remember if 4x800 or 4x400 were seeded with lanes drawn by times or places from prelims. I'm almost 100% positive that the Olympics were random drawn for the 4x400. Was it like that for college and HS too? When did it change because I'm pretty sure they put the top teams in the middle of the track now for the last few Olympics and World Championships.

And, Does anyone know where I might find video of 1983 Class A (D3) 1600 state championship race
 
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Altor

Well-known member
I'm wondering if my memory is correct or not. I remember as a kid watching the olympics even as late as 88 when Butch Reynolds anchored the 4x400 and I think they just random drew the lane assignments. USA won from lane 2 or something.
I don't know the history exactly, but IAAF has had some funny seeding rules. At one time, seeds 1-4 were randomly assigned lanes 3,4,5,6 and seeds 5-8 were randomly assigned lanes 1,2,7,8.

As for your high school memories, games committees have a lot of authority to choose how to perform lane assignments. At the time you ran, the main reason for making the middle lanes the preferred lanes was to make it easier on the finish judges and timers (it's a lot easier to pick when they arrive at the line in a V-formation). But, I hear the same story every year from a more experienced guy in our group about how they used to seed this 8-team conference I work now. For the 120 yard hurdles, they would take the 8 entry sheets from the coaches and mix them up. Heat 1, Lane 1 went to the faster runner on the top sheet. Heat 1, Lane 2 went to the slower runner on the second sheet. Heat 1, Lane 3 - faster runner on the third sheet. etc. Heat two was the same lane assignments, but the opposite runner from each school. Then, they'd mix up all the entry sheets again and "seed" the 100 yard dash.
 
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