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HS Sr Cross Country runner having breakout season

1234hews1234hews Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
What would recruiters think about a high school Senior (son) who up until this XC season had 5K times in 17:15 range and not very notable track 3200 times but after a lot of hard work over the summer ran 15:47 5K which so far this season (still early) ranks him 5th in our state? Previously had discussions with several D3 schools but only 1 that was really interested. Now D3 coaches are really active, but his dream school is a very academically strong D1 school. He had all but ruled out that school because he loves to run and looked for an alternative that was academically strong, but D3 so he could run. For those of you with experience, how do you think a D1 coach would view this change in performance? I realize he isn't fast enough for schools like Stanford or Oregon, but what about lower tier D1? Any suggestions or advice on where to go from here?

Replies to: HS Sr Cross Country runner having breakout season

  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 21,869 Senior Member
    I think the question is whether the D1 schools have any scholarships left or if the coach had influence with admissions (if you need that). Those at the lower end of the d1 rankings might, but those near the top probably won't. All you can do is contact the department/coach and see what the situation is.
  • lubbublubbub Registered User Posts: 67 Junior Member
    Track and XC coaches often take XC times with a little bit of a grain of salt. Many XC courses measure a little short and each course's difficulty and race conditinos is a big factor. So comparing XC times statewide may be a little skewed. That's why coaches like to see times on the track under a more controlled and even environment.

    But contact coaches!! Have your son call and email and ask his HS coach to do the same. Track coaches tend to recruit those who show an interest in their school so you never know, he may catch the attention of a coach and be a good fit.
  • 1234hews1234hews Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    Thanks for responding. He is definitely contacting coaches. Sure would have been easier if he had made these improvements during track season. At any rate, hopefully he posts good times at the next few races and places well so he can point out how he compares to other runners in same races. The good news for him is he is very excited to be having a great season.
  • politepersonpoliteperson Registered User Posts: 258 Junior Member
    Congrats to your son on the good start. 15:47 on a legit xc course is very respectable. As @lubbub says, xc times are viewed as unreliable. Placing well in a big meet is probably more meaningful, and track times are the gold standard. Still, I would think most D1 coaches would love to chat with your son even if as a potential walk on. But if your son is hoping for significant scholarship money, just make sure he understands the track/ xc scholarship situation for boys. 12 scholarships max for track/xc combined. There are quite a few outstanding HS distance runners on 10%, or even no scholarship. Also, have him think about what he wants running in college to be like for him. D1 can be intense, time consuming, and at his level in a good program may involve very little racing. D3 can be more like a HS experience, and his times may open some D3 admissions doors if that's an issue. Having said all that, college coaches like late bloomers if they've been undertrained.
  • 1234hews1234hews Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    Great advice. Thanks so much ! Scholarships are not a concern, he just wants to run so we will take the advice and pursue the coaches to show how he can add value to the team!
  • JB26JB26 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    At my daughter's school two years ago, one girl had played soccer the first three years of high school, didn't play as much as wanted. Decided to go out for cross country team for the first time senior year. She did exceeding well, qualifying for a couple big time national races and ended up being recruited for Notre Dame by the end of the XC season, (Nov/Dec senior year) I'm not sure where your son's time ranks but if a school like Notre Dame can recruit that late there must be other smaller or less competitive D1 schools looking to add athletes.
  • politepersonpoliteperson Registered User Posts: 258 Junior Member
    edited September 2016
    Yes, this is not unusual for girls. Op still would do well to be sure his/her son knows that the landscape is much different for boys (fewer track scholarships due to football, more density at the top of HS boys running). I'm not saying it couldn't happen, but I know way too many boys who are disappointed to find that being one of the top 10 in their state doesn't yield any scholarship interest. But if he's not concerned about scholarship money he's in a great place, and can focus on long term development.
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