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Advice on the recruiting process

nowhiznowhiz Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
Hello everyone, track and field athlete here,
I'm currently a rising senior, and I need some solid honest advice. Throughout my junior year, I've contacted a few schools and have gotten in what felt like the full swing of the recruiting process. The first school was within the Pomona-Pitzer athletic program. Earlier in June I submitted my pre-read, and the coach emailed back saying the feedback was positive from Pitzer. I have yet to hear back from Pomona. It’s been a couple of weeks since I sent the coach an email regarding the results from Pomona. Secondly, there’s Dartmouth. At the beginning of July, I emailed the coach, expressed extreme interest, and attached every test score document, transcript, and race video I could. The response however was rather bland, and I’m not sure if all coaches are like this, but he basically said he could “help me all he could in the admissions office, but there’s no guarantee.” I’ve recently emailed him again to provide him with updates from my final races of the season, but he hasn’t answered yet. It’s been two weeks. Lastly, there’s Brown. I submitted my email, just like Dartmouth, and all he replied with was, “Thanks for the interest, we’ll keep in touch.”
I write this mainly to ask, how does the whole process work in terms of coaches? Does it seem like any of these coaches really have any interest in me? I have the times qualified (1:56 for the 800m, main event) for all of the schools, so that shouldn’t be a problem. My grades are decent (3.78 UW, 3.97 W) but my ACT score (29) was pretty low. I plan to take it again. The only school that showed a bit more interest is Pomona, and after looking at College Confidential threads about the school’s selective admissions office, I feel very, very mediocre. Is it that I’m a waste of their time, or is that coaches are usually very busy and often times don’t get around to answering? Any advice or feedback of what to do at this point would be very helpful as I don’t have a clue how to feel or what to do any longer.
Thanks so much.
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Replies to: Advice on the recruiting process

  • ChembiodadChembiodad Registered User Posts: 2,435 Senior Member
    @nowhiz, as a parent of a xc/track that will be a student athlete in the NESCAC conference next year, I agree that the Dartmouth and Brown coaches responses aren't enthusiastic - it could be that they aren't looking for any mid-distance runners or the 29 ACT and GPA is resulting in a lower AI than they need.

    Have you talked to any NESCAC coaches as the competition there is the best in D3 and the schools are fantastic? Another option, and likely more achievable given your ACT, is the Centennial Conference. If you do have an interest in either you need to get moving on pre-reads.
  • StartingblockStartingblock Registered User Posts: 53 Junior Member
    @nowhiz your 1:56 800M is a very good time but a 1:54 or faster is probably needed to get strong Ivy League interest at this point in the recruiting timeline. I suspect the reason you aren’t getting warm fuzzies from Dartmouth and Brown is simply because they have a few faster prospects they are focused on at this point.

    While this past year was an atypical 800M at Ivy outdoor championships, you will see there are years where the top finishers run sub 1:50. The Ivy League attracts a lot of strong distance and mid-distance recruits.
  • ChembiodadChembiodad Registered User Posts: 2,435 Senior Member
    Agree on times needed; my DD had a teammate go Ivy two years ago with 1:51's
  • otispotisp Registered User Posts: 336 Member
    The experience of CCers seems to be that coach help at Pomona is an "all other things being equal" thing, and that you need to be at least in the 25th percentile (31ish ACT) to get a green light, so a retake is a good idea.I haven't figured out how Pitzer works out recruiting while screening for its "core values." Agree with @Chembiodad that you should compare your times with NESCAC marks. While NESCAC will have some of the best times in D3, they do use academic banding, which might make your 29 slightly more acceptable (I believe it would put you in their "B" band) - if your times are really competitive. And yes, look at Centennial Conference in the east, and maybe CMC, Oxy and Whitman if you want higher ranked D3s on the west coast.
  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys Registered User Posts: 3,766 Senior Member
    If you are open to midwest schools, take a look at how you compare to times run at Grinnell, Carleton, Macalester, Oberlin, Kenyon and Denison, though a 29 is likely not sufficient at Grinnell.
  • ChembiodadChembiodad Registered User Posts: 2,435 Senior Member
    @otisp, I think a 29 is a C band score at all NESCAC's except Connecticut and Trinity, and would assume C band is dominated by helmet sports.

    @Midwestmomofboys, good suggestions, but I think a 29 will be a heavy lift at all but Denison. If Denison is a fit, schools like Dickinson, F&M and Gettysburg could work as well.
  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys Registered User Posts: 3,766 Senior Member
    @Chembiodad Agree on the heavy lift! Grinnell coach (different sport) told my kid that, even with most rigorous curriculum and a 3.85, he needed a 31, whereas Vassar coach said there was more flexibility on test scores, seemingly reflecting a mandate to to improve the team (which has happened).

    Some of these midwest schools might be more like Vassar and less like Grinnell in the OP's events, though the OP would need to research specific programs and see where his times would be a significant benefit, and reach out NOW to coaches.
  • ChembiodadChembiodad Registered User Posts: 2,435 Senior Member
  • SwimDad99SwimDad99 Registered User Posts: 196 Junior Member
    edited July 2017
    My kid was a swimmer, and the Williams head swimming coach told him early in the recruiting process that a 29 on the ACT would suffice. DS ended up higher than that, but we were told that the bar was a 29. DS was a top recruit, and that may explain some of it. For a less sought-after recruit, it makes sense that the number would go up.
  • Windows16Windows16 Registered User Posts: 113 Junior Member
    @Chembiodad Do you know where I can find the most up to date info on NESAC bands?
  • ChembiodadChembiodad Registered User Posts: 2,435 Senior Member
    I don't know where they are published - I know Bowdoin published a study on NESCAC recruiting bands a couple of years ago.
  • SwimDad99SwimDad99 Registered User Posts: 196 Junior Member
    DS was recruited by several NESCAC colleges and never heard word one about bands. I wouldn't be concerned about them. Just talk to the coaches.
  • rofikicaferofikicafe Registered User Posts: 157 Junior Member
    not sure how accurate this is, but:
    A Band

    SAT Scores 700+ average all above 670

    SAT II 710

    GPA: 92+ GPA, Almost All As

    Class Rank: Top 5%

    Courses: 4+ APs, Honors Classes

    B Band

    SAT scores 650+ average, all above 620

    SAT II 640

    GPA: 88+ GPA, Mix of As, Bs

    Class Rank: Top 15%

    Courses: Few AP Courses, Honors

    C Band

    SAT scores 630+ average, all above 590

    SAT II 600

    GPA: 85+ GPA, Mix of As, Bs, occasional Cs

    Class Rank: Top 20%

    Courses: Honors

    These are general numbers, but they serve as a benchmark to better understand where a student athlete stands. As you narrow down your schools of interest, providing your transcript and speaking with the coach will provide the greatest feedback and realistic expectations.
  • nowhiznowhiz Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    edited July 2017
    Thanks everyone for the replies. I've gotten some emails from Vassar as well as Denison, but it seems the main factor is improving my ACT score so I'll start there. I also got update from the coach of the Pomona-Pitzer athletics program. He told me that he will have the results from the Pomona pre-reads by the end of this week. let's hope they come back positive! Also, the Dartmouth coach had this to say after asking him about anything I can do to make myself a more attractive recruit,

    "Thank you for your continued interest in Dartmouth. In answer to your question, re-taking the ACT is a good idea. There is not a specific score to shoot for but moving higher than a 29 would be helpful. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do running-wise to change your current profile. We will do most of our recruiting in the early decision window in November so we will not see any new track times for you.
    Best of luck with your application and your college search."

    Not exactly sure what it means, but at least it's some substance? Any more feedback would be great. Thanks again.
  • gointhruaphasegointhruaphase Registered User Posts: 472 Member
    @nowhiz,

    My experience with Pomona Pitzer is that there is a broad-ranging recruiting effort because of the insignificance of coach support. You may find a recommendation from the coach to apply to Pitzer.

    As far as NESCAC bands, the old one size does NOT fit all saying applies. I too had a discussion with a Williams coach who said that a 29 ACT was the lowest that had happened in the past, but that there was no outright bar. You really need to talk to the coach at each NESCAC to get a sense of where the team and coach are, and how you could help out the school. Middlebury, Bowdoin and Bates have had articles in their respective newspapers in the last couple of years that can outline the general bands, but I think it is a mistake to rely on anything other than the coach -- there are just so many variables. For example, at one NESCAC school, I was told that women needed 1-2 points higher in their ACT score than men.

    All that said, I would use your time wisely now to get that ACT score up come the fall.
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