Olympic Pool Lane Assignments In Track

The US Olympic Trials are over.  This is the toughest Olympic team to make for track and field.  So many finalists who came 4th to 8th position would be running at Rio 2016 if they had another passport!

There are plenty of stories out there, but as always, I will only focus on the coaching aspect (if you want sensationalism and shoddy journalism, you can go to Google news :)

Lane Draws for the 400 meters

This question was asked on Facebook, and I had to ask my old-time coach Kevin Tyler (now at ALTIS) about this pesky rule.  Be sure to follow him on Twitter!

The rule is, the position you finish guarantees you a spot into the next round, but the time you run determines your lane draw.

Let’s use the semi-finals to finals as the example, regardless of a 2 section (16 runners) vs 3 section semi-finals (24 runners)

The IAAF rule preferred lanes is 3-4-5-6 on an 8 lane track, so top 4 times get randomly selected for lanes 3-4-5-6, and next 4 times get 1-2-7-8, assuming a 8 lane track.  (Sometimes on a 9 lane track, they don’t use Lane 1, so it’s 4-5-6-7 and 2-3-8-9)

Hence, make sure you ABSOLUTELY qualify for the next round!  (do I need to remind you this?)

But whoa… it’s not that easy.

Here are the results for the USA Olympic Trials 400 meters:

And here are the lane draw assignments:

400m Lane Draws

  1. Michael Berry Nike 45.63
  2. Kyle Clemons adidas 44.79
  3. Gino Hall Florida 45.33
  4. David Verburg adidas 45.19
  5. LaShawn Merritt Nike 45.05
  6. Gil Roberts Nike 44.67
  7. Tony McQuay adidas 44.24
  8. Najee Glass Florida 44.79

So the rule for USA (not IAAF) tracks is, every stadium has what they called “preferred lanes”.  And for Hayward Field, the preferred lanes were 4-5-6-7 with 1-2-3-8 as the second choice.

Hence that explains why Tony McQuay got Lane 7.  Did that hurt him for the Finals? No one will ever know, but we do know every lane is 400 meters, and you have to run your own race accordingly.

I don’t agree with this rule, but those are the rules in the USA. 

Filed Under: 400 meters, Track & Field

If you have set-up Dual Meet Seeding (Set-up > Seeding Preferences > Dual Meets), but Meet Manager is not using the lanes that you assigned to each team, follow steps below:
  1. Go to Set-up > Meet Set-up to review Meet Style (on the right)
    1. If set to Standard, Meet Manager will not use the dual meet lane assignments
    2. Change to 2 Team Dual or 3+ Team Dbl Dual, click OK
  2. Go to Set-up > Seeding Preferences > Dual Meets
    1. Make sure Use Lane (or Lane/PositionAssignments Above is checked
  3. Go to Seeding from Meet Manager main screen
    1. Click Select All
    2. Click Start Seeding
    • Note:Seeding should now use lane assignments for each team
If one team isn't given any lane assignments for their swimmers:
  1. Go to Set-up > Seeding Preferences > Dual Meets
    1. Look for two versions of team in team list (upper left)
    2. Give lane assignments to other version of team (if two exist)
  1. Go to Seeding from Meet Manager main screen
    1. ​Click Select All
    2. Click Start Seeding

Note: Duplicate teams may be created if team entered prior to importing entries and assigning lanes (if slightly different name or code is used during import)
Note: It is better to wait to assign lanes until you have imported the other team's entries - this ensures you are assigning lanes to team with entries

One thought on “Olympic Pool Lane Assignments In Track

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *