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(L-R) North Texan Darvis Patton and teammates Trell Kimmons, Justin Gatlin and Jeffery Demps celebrate after winning the Men's 4 x 100m Relay Round 1 heat on Day 14 of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Team USA moves on to the finals on Saturday.
Former Texas Christian University Horned Frog Darvis "Doc" Patton help the U.S. men break the American record and get to the 4x100m relay finals on Saturday.
In the 4x100 semifinals, dash bronze medalist Justin Gatlin ran the anchor leg as the Americans broke a 20-year-old national record by finishing in 37.38 seconds. The old mark of 37.40 was initially established in 1992 with Carl Lewis on the last leg, and later equaled.
Jamaica ran 37.39 in the other semifinal -- and that was without Bolt, who got a chance to rest a day after adding gold in the 200 to his gold in the 100 but is expected to run the anchor in Saturday's final.
"We're going to figure out a way to go out there and compete with them," Gatlin vowed. "We're not scared of them."
The current world record of 37.04 was set by Jamaica at last year's world championships.
On Friday, the U.S. went with former University of Florida running back Jeff Demps, Darvis Patton, Trell Kimmons and Gatlin. Tyson Gay, who finished fourth in the 100 and is still in search of his first Olympic medal, figures to be added to the relay team for the final.
The American men are back in the final after missing it in Beijing when Patton and Gay mishandled the baton exchange in a preliminary heat.
Jamaica wound up winning the gold, one of Bolt's three record-breaking runs in 2008 when he won the 100, 200 and 4x100.
He can repeat that trio of titles Saturday by joining the likely holdovers from the semifinal victory: Nesta Carter, Michael Frater and Yohan Blake, the silver medalist in the 100 and 200.
"We've got guys that have been running good and we've got Usain Bolt, who's going to run a fast time," Blake said. "It's going to be interesting."
Still Patton -- who was born in Dallas, went to Lake Highlands High School in Richardson, attended Texas Christian University, lives in Grand Prairie and trains in Arlington -- likes Team USA's chances in the finals.
"Our chance is as great as anybody's," Patton said after the race. "If you look in the past we defeated ourselves, we haven't been beaten head-to-head in a long time. I think if we come out and do what we did today, we're going to be a hard team to beat."
When asked if Friday's performance was redemption for Beijing, Patton said, "Redemption would be getting across the line and getting on that podium, and that's what I'm looking forward to doing."