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Best NCAA Division I Colleges - Fast Track Recruiting 2019 Cross Country Power Rankings

Fast Track Recruiting Cross Country Power Rankings looked at over 300 NCAA Division 1 College Cross Country programs. Our best program list is based on the school’s academic rankings and Regional and National Cross Country Rankings.

Here are the programs that are representing the best results in and out of the classroom using our criteria.

Best NCAA Division 1 Colleges

2019 Men’s XC Power Rankings: 

1.     Stanford

2.     Princeton

3.     Notre Dame

4.     Michigan

5.     UCLA

6.     Wisconsin

7.     UVA

8.     Washington

9.     BYU

10. Purdue          

Honorable Mention:

Texas, Georgetown, Penn, Army, Dartmouth, Brown, Penn State

Best NCAA Division 1 Colleges

2019 Women’s XC Power Rankings:

1.     Stanford

2.     Princeton

3.     Columbia

4.     Michigan

5.     Notre Dame

6.     Dartmouth

7.     Villanova

8.     Wisconsin

9.     Georgia Tech

10. Washington    

Honorable Mention:

BYU, Penn State, Yale, Duke, Wake Forest, Penn, Illinois, Northwestern, Cornell

Why To Consider a Distance-Oriented Track Program

NORTHERN ARIZONA XC - NCAA I CHAMPIONS - 2016, 2017, 2018

NORTHERN ARIZONA XC - NCAA I CHAMPIONS - 2016, 2017, 2018

It requires only a brief glance at the NCAA results to realize that many of the nation’s top cross country teams are programs that have made a deliberate decision to focus their resources on distance running. At the Women’s NCAA I Cross Country Championships last weekend, Colorado and New Mexico finished 1st and 2nd  - both team are distance-oriented programs. On the men’s side, Northern Arizona University, Portland and Colorado finished 1st, 3rd and 4th respectively further confirming this trend. Look no further than upstarts Furman University and Bradley University as impactful programs on the national level.

To learn more about the advantages of running for such a program I spoke with current Boston Athletic Association (BAA) High Performance Coach Ricardo Santos.

Track Recruiting

An athlete at Iona College, Santos was an NCAA All-American. As a coach, his athletes accrued a long list of accomplishments, including NCAA Cross Country, Indoor, and Outdoor Track Championships, All-American honors, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championships, and eight top-10 NCAA team finishes in cross-country.

Santos stated, “Throughout the college recruiting process, numerous high-level distance runners are faced with the decision between looking at schools with complete track and field programs versus those that focus on cross country and distance events on the track.  Having been at a distance-only school as a student-athlete and coach, I may be a little biased, but there are many advantages to competing for a distance-oriented program. 

I asked Coach Santos what factor he considered to be the most positively impactful. In his opinion, he thought that “The most important factor is individualism. Coaches are able to focus more on individuals as the number of overall athletes on the team tends to be smaller than those of a full program.  He further stated that “This can allow for a more natural progression in an athlete’s career and not rush them into higher mileage or inappropriate intensity level of training before the athlete is ready, thus, reducing the risk of injury or burn- out.

Coach Santos went on to say, “Another key factor is not over racing.  Many of the full programs during the track seasons are looking to win meets - this may mean that an athlete will have to compete in multiple races to score points for the team.  Potentially, this can lead to over racing.  With distance only programs there is a less chance of over racing as most meets will focus on individual performance as opposed to team finish. The primary focus is on the post-season and individual achievement on the track.

Santos concluded, “In the end, it really depends on what the prospective student-athlete is looking for.  There are many factors to consider when deciding between a distance only program and a more tradition full track and field program.  However, in my opinion, the distance only program serves as a great benefit for someone looking to develop at a more natural progression.

Iona College Women’s XC

Iona College Women’s XC

 

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

COLLEGE TRACK AND FIELD RECRUITING - Fast Track Recruiting...off to a quick start!

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COLLEGE TRACK AND FIELD RECRUITING by Willy Wood

This week has been a great week for Fast Track Recruiting. Several of our senior track and field / cross country athletes have made verbal commitments and will be signing early with some of the nation’s top academic schools and college college track and field programs. We have young men and women headed to Dartmouth, University of Chicago and the United States Naval Academy. We are making a noticeable difference with our junior athletes as they are receiving numerous phone calls from coaches all over the country.

Over the past week alone, our athletes have heard from the following schools:

Alabama, American, Bradley, Brown, Bryant, Bucknell, Chicago, Colgate, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Drake, Duke, Elon, Emory, Fairfield, Fordham, John’s Hopkins, Harvard, Haverford, Kentucky, Louisville, MIT, Missouri, North Carolina State, NAU, Penn, Princeton, Purdue, Syracuse, Tennessee, TCU, UCSD, UNC Charlotte, Washington University, William & Mary, Xavier, and Yale.

Fast Track Training is also flourishing. Every runner currently training in our program has run a significant PR this fall. Two of our runners are ranked #1 in their state for their particular grade level. In addition, we will soon be partnering with a technology company to vastly and uniquely enhance this service.

College Track and XC Polls - National & Regional

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Want to see where teams who are recruiting you stack up within their specific region and Nationally - check out the weekly USTFCCCA weekly polls. They do wonderful work and you can follow programs throughout the entire year - cross country, indoors and outdoors!

Southern Utah men are currently ranked 15th in the NCAA I and often fall under the radar. They have consistently put together a great program.

http://suutbirds.com/index.aspx?path=mcross

Marc Burns' University of Missouri Women's team is certainly one to watch and a program on the rise!

http://www.mutigers.com/roster.aspx?path=cross

Find weekly rankings here -

http://www.ustfccca.org/team-rankings-polls-central

More than the NCAA

NAIA T&F/XC

A great interview with Taylor University (IN) coach and former Olympian, David Neville. Though Taylor University competes at the NAIA level, don't let that fool you - some of their current school records include such outstanding marks as 1:46 and 3:41 in the 800m and, 66' in the SP and 11.67 and 19'5" in the women's 100m and LJ.

http://therecruitingcode.com/interview-with-taylor-university-track-and-field-coach/

Find the right fit for you - mid-majors dominate the men's 10k at NCAA nationals.

MID-MAJOR 10K!

Runners from non-Power 5 conferences had massive performances in the men's 10,000m last night in Eugene. The top eight finishers score points for the teams. Here is a look at where the top 8 attend school - Tulsa, BYU, Butler, Samford, Navy, Iona, Northern Arizona, and Tulsa again. Find the best fit for you!

http://www.ncaa.com/sites/default/files/external/track-field/results/d1/outdoor17/final/008-1_compiled.htm

Dear Younger Me - Lauren Fleshman

Milesplit is running a great article written by Lauren Fleshman. She is writing a letter to her younger self. Certainly worth the read!  

http://www.milesplit.com/articles/211759-dear-younger-me-lauren-fleshman

Also, see an article we ran earlier here written by Waverly Neer along the same lines. 

https://www.fasttrackrecruiting.com/inside-the-huddle/2017/5/2/mlew8hjkzdoxs2afy0zsfj15edihim