Is it too late to get recruited senior year?

Hey I’m a female XCTF athlete and my times sophomore year and my junior year XC season were a pretty okay start for D3. Suffered with iron deficiency my junior year track season, the most important one, and went backwards. I was talking to top D3 schools since January (Hopkins is my dream) and now feel like I have no shot even though my iron is almost back to normal and I’m running much better. I feel like my senior year XC season will be good, and I’ve sent pre-reads and everything and waiting for feedback, but feel like I won’t be given a shot because of my junior year track season. Idk if coaches will even care about senior year XC or if I should just give up college running dreams

It is not too late to be recruited, but you must stay focused and remain in touch with coaches. What they are telling you is really the only relevant information.

You say you’ve sent pre-reads…so those coaches are clearly recruiting you, no? How have the coaches you have spoken with reacted to the partial junior year? Are any waiting to see your XC times this Fall?

Thoughts @politeperson?

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Yeah ig they are, but ik for Hopkins you send the info at the end of August and then they look at Prs, grades, other ECs, etc. and you get feedback. For hopkins in terms of XC I am close to some of the past recruits, but due to not having a track season sophomore year and being hurt this year, my track times aren’t what past recruits had. I’m confident my grades are with the profile, it’s just track times. Hopkins, being my most competitive school, said he was happy that I figured out my iron issues as that’s important and just told me to keep my recruit questionnaire updated for pre-reads. Didn’t say anything else, and ik some other schools said not to worry about junior year track. I have no clue about XC times this fall.

Are you in contact with other coaches? Have any asked for pre-reads? If you are certain you want to be recruited, you will need to cast a wide net. OTOH if you are certain JHU is your #1 choice whether recruited or not, I am not sure there is much to do beyond staying in contact with the JHU coach.

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Yup I am. I’ve gotten pre-reads from Washington and Lee, and am in contact w/ Case Western, Carnegie Mellon, NYU, and Chicago. Amherst said my times didn’t meet their standards for pre-reads. But Carnegie Mellon said they begin pre-reads August 1st.


It’s possible. One of my daughter’s classmates got recruited to run for her chosen college (a D2) in the weeks before she graduated HS. It’s a smaller, local college and the college coach had a last minute need and reached out to our HS coach. I think she even received some scholarship money.

I’ve also seen smaller, lesser-known colleges (typically D3) reaching out to coaches during senior year (right up to graduation) for baseball & softball players. I also know a softball player who didn’t start her recruiting process until fall of her senior year (her tournament coach had a lot of relationships with regional D3 coaches).

I think a lot would depend on your flexibility on where you run. Do you want to run in college or do you want to run for your “dream” college?

Thank you so much. Honestly the answer to that question is hard. I can’t imagine my life without running, but at the same time, there is a dream college in a mind. Thanks for your input, it is appreciated!

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Great input so far. I’ll just add a few comments.

First off, it’s great that you got the iron issue figured out so quickly. Many runners struggle for far longer before isolating iron or ferritin as the cause. So well done there.

Second, no it’s not too late. Track (in general) recruits very late, and a large number of track athletes are recruited in spring of senior year. However, at the more selective schools, including some of those you list, much of the recruiting happens in the fall. Early XC times might help a bit, but for the most part the coaches will be looking at track times. In your case they’ll look at your soph times for track, and your progression and places in XC. I’d make sure they know about the iron issue. They’ll understand. Yes, it would have been great to have strong junior year times but that’s not necessarily a deal breaker.

Third, every recruit needs to cast a wide net and remain flexible. You’ve listed a bunch of desirable schools. A lot of other runners will want to run at those schools. If being recruited is important to you, I’d cast the net a bit wider to include some less selective schools.

Fourth, athletic recruiting is a nice path to running at a selective D3 (or any) school. It is not the only path. If not recruited, you can apply to all those schools and, if admitted, join the team. This is the path followed by many or most XC runners at a lot of those schools. I’ve known a lot of late bloomers who took this path and had very good college careers.

Fifth, I guarantee that no matter where you go to school, you can continue your running journey. That might mean running for the school, a running club, or running on your own and with friends. Running is a lifetime sport, and while being a student athlete can be a wonderful college experience, it’s only a small part of any runner’s career. Plenty of very good runners have fun and rewarding experiences on the running clubs at large flagships, Stanford, etc.

Sixth, no matter what happens with recruiting, you are going to remember your senior year of HS XC forever. Please enjoy it while it’s happening.

Good luck!


I’d contact the coaches, explain your situation. Maybe, if you’re running well now, do a time trial that is recorded and send it to the coach. I know the UCHICAGO COACH is super nice.