Understanding How College Track and Field Recruiting Standards Are Determined
Hey, Coach – I am very interested in running at Wake Forest…am I fast enough? I have received numerous e-mails about running at Wake Forest over the past few weeks. So I thought I would provide information on their recruiting standards.
In a conversation with a very high-end NCAA I Head Coach this morning, we discussed how recruiting standards are created. I believe that most programs develop recruiting standards in the same manner. Coaches are looking for athletes who have the potential to score points at the conference level. I did the very same thing while at Columbia. This differs a great deal from the typical high school track program philosophy. College programs are not looking to simply cover all of the events. As the coach this morning indicated, “I wish that recruits and their parents understood that our standards are based on conference results – not whether we have someone better in that event.”
For example, let me go back to Wake Forest. Their top 200m runner ran 21.85 this past spring. Their second best 200m runner ran 22.36. So, one would presume if I were a 22.0 200m runner who was a junior in high school that I could run at Wake Forest. However, there is much more to it. The ACC is comprised of 15 schools – many of which a great sprint programs. A quick review of their conference list (https://www.tfrrs.org/lists/2250.html ) revels that 20 men have run faster than 21.30 and 50 men ran faster than 21.85 – the ACC only scores 8 places – do the math.