SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA -- The men's and women's USA U20 teams secured back-to-back World U20 records at the Pan American U20 Championships on Sunday at Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica, resetting records that many saw as nearly untouchable.
The women's team of Alexis Holmes, Kimberly Harris, Ziyah Holman and Kayla Davis ran 3:24.04, surpassing the former record of 3:27.60 that stood for 15 years. The men's team, meanwhile, went 2:59.30 behind the efforts of Fred Lewis, Matthew Boling, Matthew Moorer and Justin Robinson, refiguring the former record of 3:00.33 that stood for just two years--it was set at the last installment of the Pan American Junior games in Peru.
Holmes said afterward, "we're all used to being the anchor," though commented that each team member accepted the role given to them and put forward a complete effort.
The men's team said they were all focused on running "45s" and ultimately landed an incredible time, the first of which under 3-minutes at the junior level all-time. Only Robinson was on last year's team that finished second at the IAAF U20 Championships in Finland.
USA U20 sprints coach Wallace Spearmon said of his lineups: "I'm going to be honest, I got lucky. I'm not going to take credit for any of that."
The winner of the open 400m on Friday, Robinson said he wasn't concerned with Jamaica's Anthony Cox, who was gaining ground on the backstretch of the final anchor leg.
Eventually, with 100 meters left, Robinson broke away and got the American men under 3-minutes.
"I didn't know who was behind me," Robinson said.