4 X 100 order

I am a HS track coach trying to maximize our 4 X 100 time. This is probably our best relay event. We currently have a very good 100 m man - has run 10.98 (hand timed last year). He has a very good start, and a mediocre finish. He will probably not lose a race all year (should have a chance to win the state title). Our second fastest kid is very strong and finishes best out of everyone. He has run 11.43. Our 3rd fastest kid is young and relatively weak, but springy. I’m guessing he runs around 11.7. Starting is not a strength, but he does have pretty good 200 and 400 speed (I think he’ll go around 53.5 in the quarter). Our fourth fastest kid is tall and lanky. A very good competitor and athlete, but probably would be lucky to run a 12.0.
Right now we are trying this order:

  1. Best (overall) sprinter and starter. We try to have him run through as much of the zone as possible.
  2. Slowest runner - runs as short as possible.
  3. Second fastest runner (best finisher). We are trying to have him run a “long” leg.
  4. 3rd fastest runner.

My thinking is that our fastest guys (1 and 3) should be able to run the longest, and we can utilize our stud’s starting strength.
Any criticisms are welcome.

When we ran relays.
Normally if u have to guys close to the same speed that are your top 2
u use them on 2 and 4
cause 2’s the longest leg. U can shorten 3 and 1. and 4 is your 2nd fastest and then 1 would be a strong leadoff and 3 u can hide your slowest.

Usually the fastest person out the the blocks is the first leg; they should also be a stud on the turn. Second leg is very important; I wouldnt put the slowest guy here… If it were me with the guys you have now I would go

1st leg- 10.98 guy
2nd leg- 11.43 guy
3rd leg- 12.0 guy(since it’s on a turn and he can get a running start which will make him more efficient; 3rd leg is shorter than 2nd isnt it?)
4th leg- 11.7 guy (should be able to maximize his speed with a flying start; is he a strong finisher? If not maybe switch him with the 2nd leg…)

That’s just my suggestion…

I don’t think there is any difference between the 2nd and 3rd leg if you receive and hand off the baton in the middle of the zone. We are trying to have our #1 (fastest kid) run through as much of the first zone as possible and our #3 (second fastest) get it as soon as possible in the zone, then run through as much of the 3rd zone as possible.
Does it not make sense to do it this way as we will be having our 2 fastest guys running the longest distances, and having our slowest (2nd) running the shortest distance?
Our 3rd fastest (currently 4th runner) is a pretty good finisher.
Thanks for your suggestions.

I have never understood the philosophy of the fastest starter should be the first leg. Usually you got this short guy that has a quick start but couldnt run a turn if his life depended on it, let alone cant remember the last time he even ran a turn or a 200m for that matter. This is how I look at it. Wouldnt you want a 200 meter runner to run the first turn since they are used to running curves. How at all would a good starter on leg one benefit the relay, the guy will still run the same time and probally have to run over 100m… I would put the fastest starter on leg two and let the 200m runner run some extra distance on leg 1. The fastest starter could therefore take off later in the zone which would require a faster start. Right? On leg three thats where the other 200m runner because again you have a curve. This doesnt take genius IQ to figure out. And last leg would be the fastest runner he might turn out the best performace if he needs to catch up … then again ben johnson ran a 9.9 first leg.

Another point to consider: your fastest leg is sooo much faster than the next man, even if he dies a little bit, it would be a shame not to get alot out of him, and the 2nd leg can be the longest leg (120m if done right). Also, it is impossible to run max velocity on a curve, so why waste your fastest man on a curve.