[WARNING – Spoiler Alert – if you haven’t seen this video, go directly to the video and click Play] BONUS: There is no Carol Lewis commentary in this video, just the raw sounds from the stands.
One of the greatest 4×400 meters anchor legs I have seen from Darold Williamson was NOT the Gold medal victory from the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
It was the 2004 NCAA Indoor 4×400 that saw him come from behind, and I mean way behind. With the tight turns of indoor running, passing a runner is usually reserved at the straightways, or just before the straightaway.
Here’s a recap:
The lead-off leg runs a good leg, but unfortunately doesn’t run an aggressive first 150 meters to the break point, and ends up in 3rd position. Thus I strongly recommend putting your “fastest” man on the 1st leg; someone who is aggressive enough to run an opening 200, and not afraid to “die” on the last 100m.
A tired Jeremy Wariner receives the baton for the second leg, and surprisingly does not make up any ground. He tries to pass on the 2nd lap straightaways but does not succeed. Eventually, he hands off the baton still in 3rd position.
Their 3rd leg runs well for the first 300 meters and starts losing ground over the last 100 meters. I always respect quarter-milers who go out hard and die… better not to leave anything in the tank, if you know what I mean.
Darold gets the baton about 30 meters behind the leaders, and even with a lap to go, or even 150 meters to go, he hasn’t made up the difference.
But on the last 150 meters, with his Baylor pride and his strength from over distance work, remarkably he reels them in. You can argue if Darold Williamson is really accelerating, or if the leaders are slowing down that much.
In any event, this ones goes down in the books as one of my favorite come from behind victories because Darold had a race plan and ran within his means. He doesn’t make the mistake by trying to catch the lead runners on the first lap.
Somehow, CBS didn’t show this amazing race on TV (they were too interested in the team score), but you can download it here, or click on the picture to view the race.