What Makes a 4x800m Team Great?

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What makes a 4x800m team great? 

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. 

References

- 2017 Outdoor 4x800m National Leaders

- 2016 Outdoor 4x800m National Leaders

- 2015 Outdoor 4x800m National Leaders

- 2014 Outdoor 4x800m National Leaders

- 2013 Outdoor 4x800m National Leaders

- 2012 Outdoor 4x800m National Leaders

- 2011 Outdoor 4x800m National Leaders

- 2010 Outdoor 4x800m National Leaders

2017: Current Boys 4x800 Meter Relay Leaders

RANKTIMETEAMMEET DATEPLACE
17:55.57
GA Alexander
28:00.41
CA Claremont High (SS)
38:00.56
CA Redondo Union High School (SS)
48:01.02
TX Summer Creek
58:02.04
CA Loyola High School (SS)
68:03.76
CA Eleanor Roosevelt (SS)
78:04.21
FL Chiles HS
78:04.21
TX Kingwood High School
98:04.61
TX The Woodlands
108:04.71
TX Keller
118:05.35
CA Palos Verdes High (SS)
128:06.02
TX La Joya Juarez-Lincoln
138:06.24
FL Christopher Columbus HS
148:06.55
CA Mission Viejo High School (SS)
158:06.94
CA Saugus High School (SS)
168:06.96
CA Great Oak High School (SS)
178:06.98
FL American Heritage MS/HS (Plantation)
188:07.10
GA Richmond Hill
198:07.39
CA Ayala High School (SS)
208:08.26
TX Denton High
218:08.30
FL Hallandale HS
228:08.32
FL St. Cloud HS
238:08.75
CA Woodcreek High School (SJ)
248:08.79
TX Kingwood Park
258:09.30
SC Summerville
268:09.42
CA Vista Murrieta (SS)
278:09.60
FL Estero HS
288:09.86
FL Miami Northwestern HS
298:09.87
TX Foster
308:10.12
CA Rancho Verde High (SS)
318:10.78
FL Lincoln HS
328:10.93
FL Bolles HS
338:11.06
CA California High (SS)
348:11.20
AZ Corona del Sol High School
358:12.03
FL American Heritage MS/HS (Delray)
368:12.25
FL West Orange HS
378:12.46
FL Timber Creek HS
388:12.63
FL Northeast HS (Oakland Park)
398:13.22
TX Weslaco East
408:13.42
AZ Chandler High School
418:13.45
TX Sharyland Pioneer
428:13.52
FL South Walton HS
428:13.52
CA Ocean View High (SS)
448:13.63
TX Klein Oak
458:13.64
TX Houston Strake Jesuit
468:13.79
FL Niceville HS
478:13.82
TX Pearland
488:14.25
AZ Brophy College Preparatory
498:14.31
FL Dillard HS
508:14.53
GA North Atlanta
518:14.65
TX San Marcos
528:14.93
FL Flanagan HS
538:15.12
OK Claremore High School
548:15.16
TX Arlington Bowie
558:15.24
FL St. Thomas Aquinas HS
568:15.34
CA Rancho Cucamonga (SS)
578:15.50
CO Fountain-Fort Carson High School
588:15.73
CA Heritage High (NC)
598:15.82
GA Walton High School
608:16.60
FL Coral Reef HS
618:16.70
FL George M. Steinbrenner HS
628:16.81
TX Northwest Nelson
638:17.01
FL New Smyrna Beach HS
648:17.08
FL Creekside HS
658:17.16
CA Paso Robles High (SS)
658:17.16
CA Long Beach Poly (SS)
678:17.30
AZ Peoria High School
688:17.39
TX Arlington
698:17.58
TX Amarillo Tascosa
708:17.68
AZ Kofa High School
718:18.13
OK Edmond Memorial High School
728:18.21
TX The Woodlands College Park
738:18.26
TX Lewisville Hebron
748:18.32
TX Dawson
758:18.39
TX Waco Midway
768:18.40
OR Wilson
778:18.51
TX McAllen Memorial
788:18.59
AR Conway High School
798:18.67
FL Winter Springs HS
798:18.67
SC Hilton Head
818:18.74
TX Langham Creek
828:18.82
TX Round Rock Stony Point
838:19.00
FL East Lake HS
848:19.06
CA West Torrance (SS)
858:19.40
CA Los Alamitos High (SS)
868:19.56
FL Fort Myers HS
878:19.67
FL Satellite High School
888:19.70
AZ Gila Ridge High School
898:19.85
FL Matanzas HS
908:19.91
AZ Desert Vista High School
918:19.96
CA Bakersfield High School (CS)
928:20.39
FL Ocala Vanguard HS
938:20.77
TX Galena Park Northshore
948:20.85
AR Har-Ber High School
958:21.01
AZ Higley High School
968:21.09
NV Bishop Manogue High School
978:21.18
CA Liberty HS Bakersfield (CS)
988:21.21
TX Clear Lake
998:21.22
GA Westlake
1008:21.23
OK Owasso

In March, two meets in Texas brought in three of the nation's best five times in the 4x800m relay. 

2016: Boys 4x800 Meter Relay Leaders From Mar. 1-31

RANKTIMETEAMMEET DATEPLACE
17:41.58
TX Houston Strake Jesuit
27:47.48
TX The Woodlands
37:53.84
NC Green Hope
47:54.97
NY Saint Anthony's
57:55.75
TX Kingwood High School
67:56.71
FL Flagler Palm Coast HS
77:57.09
PA Germantown Friends School
87:57.18
TX Summer Creek
97:57.25
GA Milton High School
107:57.29
FL Coral Reef HS
117:57.54
FL Creekside HS
127:58.04
NC Broughton
137:58.18
CA James Logan High (NC)
147:58.66
NC Mount Tabor
157:59.18
FL Dr. Phillips HS
168:00.23
CA Loyola High School (SS)
178:00.93
TX Foster
188:01.02
FL Miami Northwestern HS
198:01.24
VA Mountain View
208:01.25
AL Hoover
218:01.34
CA Wilson Long Beach (SS)
228:01.50
TX Dripping Springs
238:01.79
FL Christopher Columbus HS
248:01.89
TX Keller Central
258:01.97
IL East St. Louis (Sr.) High School
268:02.37
CA Ayala High School (SS)
278:02.53
CA Poway High (SD)
288:02.58
CA Great Oak High School (SS)
298:03.02
FL Blanche Ely HS
298:03.02
TX Arlington Bowie
318:03.64
TX Manvel
328:03.65
FL Boyd Anderson HS
338:03.70
FL Charlotte HS
348:03.78
FL St. Thomas Aquinas HS
358:03.79
FL Timber Creek HS
368:03.81
CA Claremont High (SS)
378:03.94
OK Edmond Memorial High School
388:04.25
PA Abington
398:04.26
PA LaSalle College High School
408:04.34
FL Dillard HS
418:04.87
IA Waukee High School
428:05.28
CA Redondo Union High School (SS)
438:05.69
TX Flower Mound
448:05.99
TX Smithson Valley
458:06.04
FL Lake Mary HS
468:06.26
TN Daniel Boone High School
478:06.46
GA Flowery Branch
488:06.86
VA Forest Park
498:06.99
TX The Woodlands College Park
508:07.13
TN Houston High School

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

RANKTIMETEAMMEET DATEPLACE
17:37.61
CA Great Oak High School (SS)
27:41.01
NC Green Hope
37:44.74
PA State College Area High School
47:45.20
IL Sandburg High School
57:46.21
IL Oak Park-River Forest High School
67:46.57
VA Lake Braddock
77:47.91
FL Coral Reef HS
87:48.09
OH St. Ignatius
97:48.46
NJ Morris Hills HS
107:49.00
PA Central Bucks West
117:49.52
NY West Islip
127:50.11
WA Camas High School
137:50.46
MO Lafayette (Wildwood) High School
147:50.82
PA Pennridge
157:51.04
FL Sarasota HS
167:51.41
IL Prospect High School
177:51.49
NC Mount Tabor
187:52.14
IA Cedar Falls High School
197:53.22
MD Gilman School
207:53.61
MI Oak Park
217:53.73
FL Christopher Columbus HS
227:53.83
CA Notre Dame Sherman Oaks (SS)
237:54.10
IA Dowling Catholic High School
247:54.46
FL Dr. Phillips HS
257:54.54
VA Fauquier
267:54.55
CA James Logan High (NC)
277:54.72
MI Rockford
287:55.00
CA Wilson Long Beach (SS)
297:55.01
IL Lyons Township High School
307:55.04
FL Timber Creek HS
317:55.10
IL York High School
327:55.21
IA Indianola High School
337:55.31
CA Bellarmine College Prep (CC)
347:55.39
NE Burke High School
357:55.46
CA Redondo Union High School (SS)
367:55.60
FL Flagler Palm Coast HS
377:55.63
CA Long Beach Poly (SS)
387:55.65
PA Germantown Friends School
397:55.80
IL Cahokia High School
407:56.00
NC Richlands
417:56.32
PA North Penn
427:56.51
NJ Indian Hills HS
437:56.73
OH Dublin Coffman
447:56.89
KY Central Hardin
457:56.93
FL Freedom HS (Orlando)
467:56.96
MI Saline
477:57.04
FL Lake Nona HS
487:57.06
IL Huntley High School
497:57.17
PA Abington
507:57.29
VA James W. Robinson


State College came through with US #3 with a performance to remember at state. Sandburg did the same in Illinois, finishing US #4, and Green Hope finished US #5 from their effort in May. 

2016: Boys 4x800 Meter Relay Leaders from May 1-30

RANKTIMETEAMMEET DATEPLACE
17:37.25
PA State College Area High School
27:37.36
IL Sandburg High School
37:38.83
NC Green Hope
47:40.29
MO Lafayette (Wildwood) High School
57:43.56
IL Oak Park-River Forest High School
67:43.89
OH St. John's Jesuit
77:43.93
TN BrentwoodH High School
87:44.17
PA Abington
87:44.17
PA Central Bucks West
107:45.72
PA Pennridge
117:45.73
TN BrentwoodA Academy
127:45.80
IL Lyons Township High School
137:45.95
PA North Penn
147:46.26
OH St. Ignatius
157:46.30
IL York High School
167:46.40
MN Hopkins High School
177:46.61
PA Council Rock North
187:46.63
IN West Lafayette High School
197:47.08
IA Waukee High School
207:47.46
IA Cedar Falls High School
217:47.56
NC Richlands
227:47.69
IL Prospect High School
237:47.93
OH Berea-Midpark High School
247:48.08
IL Hinsdale South High School
257:48.16
OH Wadsworth
267:48.41
MI Oak Park
277:48.85
NY West Islip
287:49.32
OH Dublin Coffman
297:49.51
MD Gilman School
307:49.63
IN Westfield High School
317:49.69
IA Indianola High School
327:49.82
OH GlenOak
337:50.03
KY Central Hardin
347:50.04
OH Mentor
357:50.35
OH University School
367:50.40
NY Warwick Valley
377:50.62
PA LaSalle College High School
387:50.89
NJ Old Bridge HS
397:51.00
IL Huntley High School
407:51.02
OH Louisville
417:51.07
PA Seneca
427:51.11
IL Whitney Young High School
437:51.22
OH Pickerington Central
447:51.24
IA Monticello High School
457:51.35
IN Lake Central High School
467:51.41
IL Danville High School
477:51.45
NE Burke High School
487:51.57
CO Monarch High School
497:51.65
NY Fairport
507:51.69
MD Loyola-Blakefield


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

RANKTIMETEAMMEET DATEPLACE
17:35.06
CA Great Oak High School (SS)
27:37.18
NJ Morris Hills HS
37:39.23
OH St. Ignatius
47:39.49
PA State College Area High School
57:39.93
OH Dublin Coffman
67:40.57
NJ River Dell HS
77:41.29
NY Hauppauge
87:41.48
IL Prospect High School
97:43.57
TX Houston Strake Jesuit
107:43.59
MI Oak Park
117:43.92
MI Rockford
127:44.00
IA Cedar Falls High School
137:44.19
NY West Islip
147:44.45
IN West Lafayette High School
157:44.50
NY Warwick Valley
167:44.56
MN Hopkins High School
177:44.59
OH Mentor
187:44.66
OH Wadsworth
197:45.11
NC Richlands
207:45.17
IN Westfield High School
217:45.21
NJ Old Bridge HS
227:45.90
NY Arlington
237:45.97
NY Saratoga Springs
247:46.04
OH St. John's Jesuit
257:46.13
MN Wayzata High School
267:46.43
VA Fauquier
277:46.85
NY Fairport
287:47.13
IN Fort Wayne Carroll High School
297:47.26
VA Lake Braddock
307:47.27
NJ Egg Harbor Twp HS
317:47.68
IN Pike High School
327:47.96
NJ Haddonfield Mem. HS
337:48.06
WI Kimberly
347:48.37
MI Saline
357:48.53
OH Lexington
367:48.61
NY Saint Anthony's
377:48.70
NJ Rancocas Valley Reg HS
387:48.78
IN Avon High School
397:49.06
MN Willmar High School
407:49.30
CT Danbury High School
417:49.52
MN Bemidji High School
427:49.53
NJ Ridge HS
437:49.59
RI La Salle Academy
447:49.65
MA Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School
457:49.72
NY Liverpool
467:49.82
WI Homestead
477:49.91
OH GlenOak
487:50.03
OH Pickerington Central
497:50.04
OH Berea-Midpark High School
507:50.26
WI Oconomowoc


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