Relay Weekend And The Collegiate Outdoor Record Book
The fourth week of April is ripe for collegiate outdoor records to fall in relay events.
That’s not by coincidence, either. Take one look at the competition calendar and see why.
For more than 100 years, the Drake Relays and the Penn Relays have annually wrapped up the year’s fourth month and featured incredible collegiate performances. This year marks the 124th installment of the Penn Relays, while the Drake Relays holds its 109th iteration.
There are 16 instances of collegiate outdoor relay records (eight per gender) and seven of them have been established at either the Drake Relays or the Penn Relays. The most recent record to fall at either was the women’s 4×1600 standard in 2015, which is currently held by Oklahoma State at 18:58.11.
Getting The Baton Around
|Here is a look at the collegiate outdoor record book as it pertains to relay records. Only the 4×100 and 4×400 are contested at the NCAA Championships.|
Mt. SAC Relays
|Men’s 4×200||TCU||1:19.67||Penn Relays||2000|
|Women’s 4×200||Oregon||1:28.78||Florida Relays||2017|
|Men’s 4×800||Arizona State||7:08.96||Sun Angel||1984|
|Women’s 4×800||Tennessee||8:17.91||Penn Relays||2009|
|Men’s 4×1500||Arkansas||14:50.2h||Penn Relays||1985|
|Women’s 4×1500||Tennessee||17:08.34||Penn Relays||2009|
|Men’s 4xMile||Oregon||16:03.27||Oregon Twilight||2009|
|Women’s 4xMile*||Oklahoma State||18:58.11||Drake Relays||2015|
|Men’s Sprint Medley||Texas A&M||3:11.94||SEC Relays||2017|
|Women’s Sprint Medley||Texas A&M||3:39.04||SEC Relays||2017|
|Men’s Distance Medley||Arkansas||9:20.10||Penn Relays||1989|
|Women’s Distance Medley||Villanova||10:48.38||Penn Relays||1988|
Teams will flock once again to Philadelphia and Des Moines, Iowa, but a new meet emerged from the pack to make relay weekend even stronger and to strike even more fear into the collegiate outdoor record book: Arkansas’ National Relay Championships (SCHEDULE | ENTRIES).
Sixteen teams from Power 5 conferences converge on John McDonnell Field this weekend for the meet modeled after the IAAF World Relays. There will be seven relay events contested in Fayetteville, Arkansas, with a number of other individual events as well. Only the relay events will be televised on the SEC Network on Saturday and contribute toward team scoring.
With a litany of elite athletes in attendance, it would be hard-pressed for the National Relay Championships not to have the same impact – or more of one – that the SEC Relays did when they were held last year. It was in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where three collegiate relay records were broken or tied as Texas A&M’s men and women lowered the sprint medley standards to 3:11.94 and 3:39.04, respectively, and LSU’s women tied Oregon’s 4×100 mark of 42.12.
Even though it’s called the National Relay Championships, keep an eye on one individual event in particular: the women’s 400 hurdles. Lost in the mix of the start list due to not having a seeded time – but not in the minds of everybody else – is Kentucky’s Sydney McLaughlin. The freshman phenom has put together an outstanding year so far and this is her collegiate debut in the hurdles. McLaughlin has a PR of 53.82 from high school and competed in the event at the Rio Olympics. If she runs sub-54, she’ll make the all-time collegiate top-10.