Diving Deep Into What Makes The 4x400 Such A Hard Race

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The best 4x400 teams of all time have had one thing in common. 

They've had the right mix of talent, a blend of exceptional athletes, and the closest thing to exceptional athletes you're going to find. 

But the race's national record, set back in 1985 at the Texas Relays, continues to be one of almost impossibility, set 33 years ago by Hawthorne High in California. The team was helmed by super-talented short sprinters and half-milers, including Henry Thomas, Mike Marsh, Sean Kelley, and Michael Graham. They finished in an astounding 3:07.40. 

All-star teams aside, breaking 3:09 remains one of the upper echelon barriers in high school track and field. Only three teams in the last 10 years have done it, including California's JSerra in 2010 (3:08.42 and 3:08.72) and North Carolina's New Bern High in 2009 (3:08.05). 

It's not easy to cut time in this race. To break 3:10, teams need all at least two runners under 48 seconds and two others around that mark. And for most high schools, that depth is often unheard of. 

This past weekend, DeSoto (TX) High's "A" squad ran 3:11.38. 

It's not as simple as saying DeSoto will break 3:11 or 3:10 or 3:09 because they have time to fix simple exchanges. The squad, comprised of Kevin Modesto (48.04), Tairyn Ross (48.25), Kennedy Harrison (49.16), Isaac Hastings (49.35), Angel Deloney (49.51), Patrick Johnson (49.64), and Jaylen Smiley (50.33), would have to run the perfect race, void of extra distance, errant hand-offs, or off-day splits. 

Teams often have to face the right conditions, and they have to compete at the right meets. 

Below, we're going to take a look at this year's current top 75 4x400 squads, including their athletes and their top times. We'll also provide the top 50 4x400 times in March, April, May, and June from last year, and the top 50 times over the past five seasons. 

Team: Top 75 Current 4x400 Teams

2017 Month-by-Month: March - April - May - June

Last 5 Years: 2017 - 2016 - 2015 - 2014 - 2013