Want To Be A Big 10 Sprinter - College Track and Field Recruiting Standards

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I was recently asked what time would be required to compete in the sprints/hurdles at a Big 10 school. Obviously, there is no conference standard to be able to walk-on at a member institution or a generic scholarship list of standards as it varies from school to school. However, I did reach out to one of the more successful programs in the Big 10 and was able to get their recruiting standards.   It is also important to keep in mind that consistent performances at the indicated levels along with the ability to contribute competitively in other events will be used to award athletic scholarships.  These marks are the minimum standards to receive an athletic scholarship.  Remember, in Track and Field a scholarship can range from books to a full-ride. If you just barely achieve the mark below, you should not expect more than books - 20%. Want to know if you can compete in the Big Ten, see below:

WALK-ON STANDARDS, Men / Women

100m- 10.80 / 12.10

200m- 21.70 / 24.90

400m- 48.50 / 56.50

110HH- 14.50 / 14.40

300IH- 38.10 / 44.50

400IH- 53.50 / 62.50

SCHOLARSHIP STANDARDS,  Men / Women

100m-  10.60 / 11.90

200m- 21.50 / 24.55

400m- 47.90 / 55.00

110HH- 14.00 / 13.80

300IH- 37.90 / 43.60

400IH- 52.50 / 61.50

Three Reasons Why To Consider A Public Ivy – College Track and Field Recruiting

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Are you an Ivy League type-student? If so, when considering where to attend college and compete athletically, most of you will be encouraged to pursue Ivy League institutions or other notable high-end private academic universities such as Duke, Stanford, MIT, and John’s Hopkins.

However, as you begin to create a list of potential schools and programs, you may want to consider casting your net a bit wider. Are there any public schools out there that can match the caliber of top private schools? Yes, and here are three reasons to consider “Public Ivy League” schools:

1. Affordability

Public Ivy schools are potentially significantly more cost-effective based on your family’s financial situation. According to Laura Staffaroni of PrepScholars, the median price for tuition of the top Public Ivy Schools is under $14,000/year for in-state students.

Additionally, not only do “Public Ivies” have some of the most competitive cross country and track and field programs in the nation, they also give out athletic scholarships and while this is true for some top private schools such as Stanford and Duke it is not the case for any Ivy League colleges or NCAA III institutions like MIT and Chicago.

2. Acceptance Rates

Although, “Public Ivy League” schools are still difficult to get into there is no doubt that top-tier private schools and Ivy League universities are significantly more selective. Average acceptance rates at the nation’s top five private schools are approximately 6-7% compared to an acceptance rate of around 25%at the top 5 public universities.

3. Enrollment Size

Are you looking for more of a big school feel or experience? According to Laura Stafforoni, the median undergraduate population for an Ivy League institution is around 6,400 students, while for a Public Ivy it's closer to 25,000 students.

If you want to apply to an academically rigorous, fairly selective, and well-known public school, you should absolutely consider applying to a Public Ivy. It makes great financial sense to apply to a Public Ivy in your state, and while Public Ivies can get more expensive for out-of-state students, they're still usually cheaper than a private college or university.

Here is a brief list of schools/programs you may want to consider as you are compiling your list:

Most Selective Academically and Competitive Athletically: UCLA, University of Virginia, University of North Carolina, Michigan, UC-Berkley

Other of Note: William & Mary, Georgia Tech, Wisconsin, Vermont, Washington, Florida, Penn State, Ohio State, Illinois, Purdue, and Texas.

For further information on Public Ivies see: https://blog.prepscholar.com/public-ivy-league-schools

I Am A Senior - Is It Too Late For Me?

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Last year, at this exact time, we were fortunate to sign up Quinest Bishop from Rock Hill SC. He had just completed his Senior year and was still looking for somewhere to go to school and run track. Quinest was a good student and accomplished runner an I was excited to assist him. Within two weeks, Quinest signed a National Letter of Intent with NCAA I Troy University.

Quinest has had an amazing first year at Troy running 10.60 (100m) and 21.72 (200m) in his first collegiate season of competition.

https://www.directathletics.com/athletes/track/6541620.html

Virtual Campus Tour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcG4hC9KE2Q

It was nit too late for Quinest last year and it is not tool ate for you this year. There is still time to find a great fit for you!

I Just Finished My Sophomore Year, Now What?

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I recently received an e-mail from a mother of a high school runner who has just completed their sophomore year of high school. She was curious as to how the recruiting process and timeline have been altered by last year’s NCAA rule change allowing coaches to speak with current juniors.

You are now already halfway through high school and will be heading off to college in two years. And, for a good number of you – you will be making your college decision in the Fall of 2019. Typically, I would have not offered this advice so early on in the process, but with the changes in the recruiting calendar you should make the appropriate changes.

Cast a wide net - See what's out there and determine what type of school might be a good fit for you. If you have not yet done so create an expansive list of schools/programs that meet your specific needs and desires.

Fill out online recruiting questionnaires - The online recruiting questionnaire is a good first step and simple means to initiate communication with a program. It allows the coach to assess if you are a good fit for their program and alerts them to your interest in their program,.

Contact college coaches - If you have not yet started -- start reaching out to college coaches from the schools on your list. You will be surprised at how effective personally reaching out to coaches will enhance your recruiting experience.

Take the ACT / SAT - Register and take the SAT/ACT during your junior year. If you feel adequately prepared, I would suggest taking the test in the fall of your junior year. This will allow you plenty of time to take it for the second time in the spring. If you are considering attending a highly selective academic institution taking the test earlier will significantly enhance your recruitment. Most selective schools will not vigorously pursue a potential-student athlete without test scores to determine admissibility.

Utilize Unofficial Visits - Unofficial visits can help you gather significant information about individual programs and schools. This time will allow you an opportunity to meet the coach in person, tour the college, check out the athletic facilities, and possibly meet current team members.

In summary, do not be passive -- start reaching out to college coaches now. E-mail every program that you are interested in, regardless of the perceived reach. Be your own greatest advocate and take charge of your future.

College Track and Field Recruiting Do's and Dont's

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College Track and Field Recruiting

DO NOT approach this process passively. Be aggressive in your outreach and email every program that you are interested in, regardless of the perceived reach. It is up to you to not only create a compelling story but also be able to tell it. Be your own greatest advocate and take charge of your future. Consider this one of the most important competitions of your high school career and prepare accordingly! The recruiting process can be daunting. There are so many unknowns, however, if you get started early, put in the work, and take an active role you will find the right fit.

For more recruiting tips click here - https://www.fasttrackrecruiting.com/inside-the-huddle/2018/1/24/recruiting-advice-for-current-juniors

Further recruiting information may be found here - http://www.milesplit.com/articles/214461/three-things-athletes-must-understand-going-into-the-recruiting-process

College Track and Field Recruiting Do's and Don'ts

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DO your homework! You should have a keen understanding of the unique strengths of each program. It will go along way with the coaching staff if it appears you know a great deal about their specific school and team. Have a solid understanding of where they rank athletically and academically, what their unique strengths are and how they compare to the other schools you are considering. On occasion, I would literally have prospects in my office tell me that they were really interested in State U or Academic U, but they knew they could not get into that school or run for their team. It would dumbfound me as we had a lower acceptance rate and were significantly better athletically. Know who and where you are visiting.

To see how you stack up athletically against their current runners check out current performance lists at https://tfrrs.org/

To see where they rank academically check out https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges

For more recruiting information click here - https://www.fasttrackrecruiting.com/athletic-recruiting-blog/2018/1/24/recruiting-advice-for-current-juniors

Seniors - It Is Not Too Late, Step One

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By: Willy Wood

The regular signing date is still two months away. It is not too late for you to find the right college and program. In fact, many schools will have scholarship money and/or roster spots available well into the summer. At this point in the process, I suggest reaching out to schools that have reached out to you. Go through your old emails, letters of inquiry, questionnaires, and generic correspondences, and then create a list of every school that has contacted you. Reach out to these programs and start a dialogue if you haven't yet. You may be pleasantly surprised and find a good fit for you at a place you are not currently considering. Concentrate your efforts on programs that have shown an interest in you.

For more information on how to best navigate the recruiting process check out - https://www.fasttrackrecruiting.com/inside-the-huddle/2017/7/14/the-dos-and-dont-of-recruiting

Recruiting Advice For Current Juniors

By - Willy Wood

You are already halfway through your junior year of high school and will be heading off to college in eight months. Many programs have completed their recruiting classes for this year and are now focusing their efforts on next year's class -- this year's juniors. As it is now permissible for college coaches to call juniors, the recruiting process has already begun. To ensure that you take full advantage of this process, here are a few suggestions to help you find the right fit for you. 

1. Cast A Wide Net

Your junior year is about seeing what's out there and what kind of school might be a good fit for you. If you have not yet done so create an expansive list of schools/programs that meet your specific needs and desires. Among factors to consider are affiliation (NCAA I, II, III, NAIA and JUCO), competitiveness of the program, cost of attendance, quality of education, geographical location, intended academic major, enrollment size, public vs private, and other factors that matter to you.   

Think about what may impact your athletic experience the most like coaching style, athlete retention, and success of the program. Determine if you are a good fit athletically -- many schools post their recruiting standards online.  

Know what the academic requirements are for the schools you are considering to determine if you are potentially admissible.  

Continually revise your list. During my coaching career, I often saw recruits close doors too early. They would rule out programs in their junior year of high school based on a variety of factors and then end up scrambling in the end when Plan A did not work out. Make sure to keep Plan B in play as to not have to settle for Plan C at the last minute.

2. Fill Out Online Recruiting Questionnaires

The online recruiting questionnaire is a good first and simple means to initiate communication with a program. It allows the coach to assess if you are a good fit for their program. In a recent interview with the Recruiting Code, Duke University head women's cross country coach Rhonda Riley was asked, "What are the important steps for an athlete to get noticed by you?" She responded, "The two ways to get on my radar are to fill out our online questionnaire and to follow up with an email. When a high school athlete takes the time to send an email with their contact information, personal best marks, academic information etc. it means they are serious about considering Duke as a potential university." Online recruiting questionnaires are typically very easy to find on individual schools' track and field websites.

3. Contact College Coaches

Over the span of my 30-year coaching career, I learned that communication is the most important element to reaching your goals. If you have not yet started -- start reaching out to college coaches from the schools on your list. You will be surprised at how effective personally reaching out to coaches will enhance your recruiting experience.  

Proofread every email before hitting send. A great deal of communication in the early phases of the recruiting process is going to be cut and paste on both sides, however, making a simple mistake can dehumanize the process and render the remainder of your communication less credible. Make sure you are addressing the proper institution and coach. I cannot tell you how many emails I received from recruits specifically addressed to a rival coach expressing their interest in a rival school.  

 Send updates on a regular basis.  Most coaches receive dozens of emails from recruits each day so it's important that you keep yourself on their radar.

4. Take The ACT / SAT

Register and take the SAT/ACT during your junior year. If you feel adequately prepared, I would suggest taking the test in the fall of your junior year. This will allow you plenty of time to take it for the second time in the spring. Everyone's test prep is going to vary based on their own strengths, weaknesses, schedule, and goals. At the very minimum, though, all students should try to put in 10 hours of focused test prep, at least to get familiar with the format and timing of the test. Realistically, you would need to put in much more time over a sustained period to do well.

However, if you are not ready to take the test do not view it as a test-run. Do not take the test until you have prepared to do so at a level that is reflective of your academic potential.

If you are considering attending a highly selective academic institution taking the test earlier will significantly enhance your recruitment. Most selective schools will not vigorously pursue a potential-student athlete without test scores to determine admissibility.

5. Utilize Unofficial Visits

Unofficial visits can help you gather significant information about individual programs and schools. This time will allow you an opportunity to meet the coach in person, tour the college, check out the athletic facilities, and possibly meet current team members.

Do your homework - know who and where you are visiting. Have a keen understanding of the unique strengths of each school and team, as it will show the respective coaching staff how serious you are about their program. Use this time to learn as much as you can about the program and coaching staff. Identify the factors that will be most important to you in determining if you will return for an official visit. Have a short list of specific questions ready that address the most critical factors in your college decision.

There is no imposed limit on the number of unofficial visits you may take, so take as many as possible. There is no better tool to help you hone in on the best school/program for you.

In summary:  

Your junior year is quickly passing and it is time to start seriously considering where you want to continue your academic and athletic pursuits. Do not be passive -- start reaching out to college coaches now. Be aggressive in your outreach and email every program that you are interested in, regardless of the perceived reach. Be your own greatest advocate and take charge of your future.

Determine The Best Fit For You

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During your freshmen and sophomore years create an expansive list of schools/programs that meet your specific needs and desires. Among factors to consider are affiliation level (NCAA I, II, III, NAIA and JUCO), competitiveness of the program, cost of attendance, quality of education, geographical location, intended academic major, enrollment size, public vs private, and other factors that matter to YOU.

Do not be mesmerized by the name of a school. See beyond the prowess of their football and basketball programs or their academic reputation. Make sure the school you choose meets your needs for reasons beyond it simply being cool to tell the world you will be running or studying at a particular school. Remember, you have to live, study, train and compete there every day for four years.

Many brilliant scholars and successful professionals have attended state schools with less than brilliant academic reputations. Additionally, many NCAA mid-major athletes have claimed national championships on the team and individual level.

In fact, at this year's NCAA National Outdoor Track & Field Championships nearly 33% of the participants represented non-Power 5 schools - three were crowned NCAA National Champion and an additional 14 scored for their teams by placing in the top eight. Furthermore, two-time US Olympian and World Championships silver medalist, Nick Symmonds competed at the NCAA Division 3 level while in college.

Plain and simple, choose a school that you would be happy at without track and field - just in case your athletic career does not go as planned.

YEAR IN REVIEW - 2017

Although, we did not open for business until June of this past year, we have had great successes along the way. Here are just a few of our 2017 highlights:

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FAST TRACK RECRUITING - Open for business, June 2017

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Quinest Bishop

signs NLI with TROY UNIVERSITY, June 2017.

Our only Class of 2017 team member

FAST TRACK RECRUITING

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MALLORY BARNES

Class of 2018 - DARTMOUTH COLLEGE

Official visit to YALE UNIVERSITY

FAST TRACK RECRUITING

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BEN BAYLESS

Class of 2018

SCHOOL RECORD 5000m XC - 16:04

43 Second PR

FAST TRACK TRAINING

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AKSHAY MODY

Class of 2018 - UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO

Official Visits to BROWN UNIVERSITY and JOHN'S HOPKINS UNIVERSITY

FAST TRACK RECRUITING

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WILL MILLER

Class of 2018

SCHOOL RECORD 5000m XC - 15:34

VIRGINIA 2A STATE CHAMPION

47 Second PR

FAST TRACK TRAINING

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KATHLEEN MURPHY

Class of 2018 - UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY

FAST TRACK RECRUITING