Obviously, it's all about the pieces to the puzzle. Teams have to have the right mixture of sub-2:00 800m runners, but coaches also have to have the wherewithal to put their runners in the correct positions to succeed.
Over the last eight years, the 4x800m relay has been an exceedingly difficult race to break past boundaries. In 2011, Long Beach Poly of California set the national record in the run with a time of 7:28.75 at New Balance Nationals Outdoor.
Teams have been chasing that time since.
The closest we've gotten to that mark since came in 2012, when Christian Brothers Academy of New Jersey went 7:34.67. Since then, the race has hit a plateau, with the nation's best averaging anywhere from 7:35.06 to 7:39.77.
What can we make of 2017?
It isn't so much the team that makes the difference. Over March, April, May and June of last year, the nation's best times occurred at the biggest meets.
Read on for a breakdown of current 4x800m leaders from 2017, and then last year's output from the months of March, April, May and June to see just how fast the event got as time wore on in the outdoor season.
In April, two invitationals struck gold with four out of the top six times in the nation. Great Oak (Ca.), which finished with the nation's best time, began their quest in California to drop time. Green Hope, State College and Sandburg all finished within the top five in the nation by the end of the season -- their performances in this month induced that progression.
2016: Boys 4x800 Meter Relay Leaders from Apr. 1-30
Great Oak (Ca.) gave a glimpse of their talent at a key invitational and then followed by cutting two seconds off their best at nationals in June. Morris Hills, which finished US #2, did the same. State College, which won its state meet the previous month, tried but came up short to cut seconds off their personal best.
2016: Boys 4x800 Meter Relay Leaders From June 1-30