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Kevin Young's 11-Step 400h Segment


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  • Kevin Young's 11-Step 400h Segment

    Sorry for the long series of quotes below, but I wanted to create a new thread for this sub-topic of a previous thread ("How Many Steps to the First Hurdle",, and so I copied and pasted most of the old discussion here.

    Originally posted by gh
    Originally posted by Smoke
    Originally posted by gh
    Originally posted by Daisy
    Originally posted by "Smoke":yfx0dvm9
    Kevin's wr step pattern was 21-13-13-12-12-13-13-13-13-13-home. Some said 12 steps could never be done. His regular pattern was 13s all the way around.
    Does anyone know if he surprised himself with the 12's on the back straight? Or was he always planning to stretch out more?
    If he was ever suprised it was probably in the Barcelona heats, where he opened at 13-13-11-12-12!
    gh that is a myth, there was never an 11.
    The citation for the 11 comes from France's L’Équipe in the fall of ’92. Did a very respected job of covering the sport in those days, but doesn't mean they weren't wrong. Our Olympic coverage makes no mention of it.

    Whomever sees Kevin next should ask him just to confirm for once and for all.
    Don't ask Kevin, please don't LOL Last time I heard Kevin talk he screwed up the race pattern. Trust me, not only was I a friend, but I was the assistant coach atthe time. I had the unique experience of training with him from 1989 through 1992 and helping coach him in 1992 through 1994. There's no eleven. Believe me, we celebrate 12 enough, if there was 11 I would not hesitate to throw it out there, that is a HUGE feat.[/quote:yfx0dvm9]

    I've been meaning to reply to this discussion for some time, since I vividely remembered watching Kevin Young's '92 quarterfinal race back in high school (when I was first learning about step-patterns) and sitting in disbelief of the 11 steps I'd just counted. Well, as I was going through some old track videos recently I finally found my recording of that race, so I took a moment to download it and post it to YouTube. Here's the direct link (, but in case it get's removed as a "copyrighted" video you can find it by searching "Kevin Young 11-stepping".

    The 11-step segment came between hurdles 3 and 4, after which he also went on to 12-step hurdles 5 and 6. It's unfortunately a little hard to count the steps of this segment with the video at full-speed because the NBC view changes after his first few strides, so I edited the video (the only editing I did) to run in slow-motion for that segment. I don't believe there were any strides cut-out during the view-change since there is no skip in the on-screen running time. You can also see that he starts overstriding, almost bounding, the last few strides into the hurdle, which makes it clear that this was 11-steps and not 13 (he'd just stutter-stepped to 13 the hurdle before, and quickens his stride-rate to 12-step the next hurdle).

    Anyway, I just thought this might be an interesting view in light of the previous discussions and "mythology" of the 11-step pattern. I hope that there's not problem with pointing you all towards this video, and I'd love to hear any thoughts or comments about it. As a former 400h'er who struggled to 14-step I find the accomplishment of an 11-step segment to be truly extraordinary.

  • #2
    kevin youg 11 steps

    I saw that same 11 steps at the 1987 Olympic festival at houston. #4 - #5. I haven't converted it yet, but I do agree it did happen. He bounded the last two strides and ended up running 48+. Now I know I not the only one who saw this!!


    • #3
      Re: kevin youg 11 steps

      One does not need to count too closely. The key is which leg does he lead with into the 4th hurdle compared to the 3rd. If the same, then its an odd number of strides, either 13 or 11. If its a twelve he should alternate lead leg.

      From the lead leg it is an odd number of strides (Nice touch with the red numbers counting the strides!) It certainly looks like he is stretching out his strides into hurdle 4, so an 11 would make more sense than a 13. Smoke?

      Certainly a impressive, almost unimaginable feat, a shame they cut to the head on view.


      • #4
        I would go further yet: Without the additional evidence from the lead leg, the
        change of view would limit the value of the video severely. (There is no
        telling what could have been deliberately or accidentally removed there.
        At the least, additional investigation into the positions of the runners, the
        time of the clock, etc., would be have been required to make continuity