Three Takeaways From A Busy Weekend Of Relay Action

Three Takeaways From A Busy Weekend Of Relay Action

At this past weekend's Florida, Texas and Raleigh Relays, Grant Holloway and Gabby Thomas were two of the many professionals to make their outdoor debut.

Apr 2, 2024 by Maxx Bradley
Three Takeaways From A Busy Weekend Of Relay Action

We're still two and a half months away from the opening festivities of the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, but this weekend featured a few professionals who opened up their outdoor seasons in dominant fashion.

From Florida to Texas over to North Carolina, it was relays galore. Here are three of the biggest performances from the weekend on the professional circuit.

Gainesville Elite Steals The Show At Florida Relays

What do you get when you task Grant Holloway, Pjai Austin, Erriyon Knighton and Joseph Fahnbulleh with a 4x100m? 

A very fast result.

At the Florida Relays in Gainesville, a handful of Mike Holloway's elite sprinters and hurdlers opened up their outdoor seasons and teamed up for a relay.

In the Olympic Development section, the quartet threw down a world-leading 37.67, which was the 11th-fastest time in world history. It's also the fourth fastest time in American history, but still over half of a second back of the national record of 37.10 set in 2019. 

With a combination of the world's best sprinters, clean handoffs and perfectly executed legs, success was imminent for Mike Holloway's squad.

Gabby Thomas Opens Up Outdoor Season

Just like that, one of the top sprinters in the world opened up her outdoor campaign.

Thomas made her outdoor debut at the Texas Relays, running both the 100m and 200m -- with just under an hour of rest in between both races.

In her first 100m race since last June, Thomas cruised to an all conditions 10.88. Wind or no wind, Thomas still sits No. 3 in the world right now and has left the door open for the double this summer.

However, despite her success in the 100m, her speciality remains the 200m, an event in which she's won Olympic bronze and World silver. In her first race at the distance of the year, Thomas dropped a world-leading 22.08 to pick up both the win and the meet record.

A year ago, Thomas also made her season debut at the Texas Relays, running 11.09 and 22.46, respectively. 

Johnson, Noble Go Under 8:30 In Raleigh

At the latest edition of the Raleigh Relays, a trio of American men hit the U.S. Olympic Trials standard of 8:32 in the 3,000m steeplechase.

Leading the charge was former Virginia athlete Derek Johnson, who was a 2-time All-American during his time in Charlottesville.

Johnson won in 8:24.41, running under the previous meet/facility record of 8:25.09 that was set by Isaac Updike just a year ago. Johnson's time also punches his ticket to the U.S. Trials in June and is a new PB.

A mere three seconds back was NCAA Division II legend Christian Noble, who ran his first steeple since 2021. It looks like it didn't take Noble too long to get back into form, taking 18 seconds off of his previous PB.

Noble's 8:27.75 performance is as good of an opener as he could have asked for, as another contender for an Olympic spot joins in on the fun. 

The third and final American who hit the Trials standard was Travis Mahoney, who finished 3rd in 8:30.09. 

All three will head to Hayward Field in June with a trip to Paris on the line.