Jeremy Wariner anchors a U.S. squad to a 3:01.96 World indoor record (Randy Miyazaki) © Copyright
General News Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA

World Indoor 4 x 400 record by U.S. squad in Fayetteville

The U.S. squad of Kerron Clement, Wallace Spearmon, Darold Williamson and Jeremy Wariner capped the second day of the Tyson Invitational with a World indoor record of 3:01.96* in the 4 x 400m relay.

The quartet eclipsed the previous mark of 3:02.83 set by Andre Morris, Dameon Johnson, Deon Minor And Milton Campbell with their win at the 1997 World Indoor Championships in Maebashi, Japan.

"Yesterday was a challenge. Today was just like icing on the cake," said Spearmon, who set a World best of 31.88 in the 300m on Friday evening. "With guys like this you really don't have a choice but to break a world record. Darold and Jeremy have done it for the last four years. We had Kerron on the team, he was a great guy to add. So I was the weakest link. It kind of felt like I was along for the ride."

Leading off with Clement, the indoor World record holder in the 400m, the team got off to a fast start. Moving to the inside lane, Clement cruised down the back stretch and held on to a four-step lead against the field before handing off to Spearmon, completing his leg of the relay in 46.1 seconds.

Spearmon charged around the first turn to the cheers of his howetown crowd and opened up a sizeable lead on the field through the opening 200 meters. Continuing to press his advantage, Spearmon, the novice 400m runner of the group, split 45.94 before handing to Williamson.

The anchor leg of Team USA's 2004 Olympic gold-medal relay, Williamson took the baton and extended his team's advantage around with a 45.18 split. Wariner, the Olympic and World 400m champion, took the baton for the final two laps.

Coming around the final bend the clock read 2:55, it was a race against the clock. Splitting 44.74, Wariner secured the record.

"They set me up with a great time," Wariner said. "They gave me enough time to work with it. I just ran my usual race that I usually do. Coach (Clyde) Hart was telling me before the race to not try and force it and to run my own race. He said enjoy myself. I wasn't trying to force the record. If it came it came. If it didn't, oh well we are young we can do it another year. I was just out there to run my race and see what I could do right now."

When asked about his feeling coming down the final stretch with the world record in sight, Wariner said, "That is usually how I run my races. I have a good kick at the end. My training has been great so far, so I came out a little stronger than I thought I was going to be able to. I was just worried about keeping my form the rest of the race."

* pending ratification