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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

UVA Track and Field Recruiting Standards

Fast Track Recruiting

Want to run for UVA? And, by run I mean run, jump, hurdle or throw. It will be no easy task. Their academic standards are stringent. In addition, as a member of the 16 team ACC conference points are hard to come by. UVA prefers a smaller roster made up of athletes capable of scoring at the ACC and NCAA meet. Their scholarship standards are based on how many points you will score for them at those two meets. Although, they do not post specific qualifying standards the performance listed below will give you an idea of what performance marks you will need:

UVA TRACK AND FIELD MEN’S RECRUITING STANDARDS

EVENT           SCHOLARSHIP          WALK-ON

100m              10.50                          10.70

200m              21.00                          21.50

400m              47.50                          48.50

800m             1:51.00                       1:54.00

1600m           4:06.00                       4:13.00

3200m           9:00.00                       9:15.00

110HH           13.80                          14.10

300IH             36.50                          37.50

400IH             51.50                          53.50

LJ                   24 ‘ 6”                        23 ‘

TJ                    51’                            47’ 6”

HJ                   6’11                           6’8”

PV                    17’                            16’

SP                    64’                           57’6”

Discus            190’                          170’

Javelin            215’                           190’

Hammer         225’                            200’

 

UVA TRACK AND FIELD WOMEN’S RECRUITING STANDARDS 

EVENT           SCHOLARSHIP          WALK-ON

100m              11.60                          11.90

200m              23.80                          24.90

400m              54.00                          56.50

800m              2:10.00                       2:14.00

1600m           4:50.00                       5:00.00

3200m           10:40.00                    11:00.00

100H              13.80                          14.40

300IH             42.50                          44.50

400IH             59.50                         62.50

LJ                   19 ‘ 6”                       18 ‘ 6”

TJ                   41’                             38’

HJ                   5’11                            5’7”

PV                  13’                              12’

SP                  50’                             47’

Discus           160’                            145’

Javelin           155’                            130’

Hammer         175’                           160’

UVA TRACK AND FIELD QUESTIONNAIRE

Fast Track Recruiting

UNC Track and Field Recruiting Standards

Curious how fast you need to be to run for the UNC? Below we have listed their walk-on and scholarship standards.

Fast Track Recruiting

UNC Track and Field Questionnaire

UNC Summer Camp Information

FAST TRACK RECRUITING FIVE STAR COACHES:

ANDREA GROVE-MCDONOUGH

BOBBY LOCKHART

ABIGI ID-DE

UNC Track and Field Recruiting Standards

UNC%2BTrack%2BStandards

Alabama Track and Field Recruiting Standards

Track Recruiting

FAST TRACK RECRUITING GOLD MEDAL COACH RECOMMENDATION:

DIRECTOR OF TRACK & FIELD - DAN WATERS

DISTANCE COACH - WILL PALMER

RECRUITING STANDARDS

ALABAMA TRACK AND FIELD CAMP

ALABAMA TRACK AND FIELD FACILITIES

Want to run track and field for the University of Alabama? See their recruiting standards below for both walk-ons and scholarship opportunities.

Track Recruiting
Track and Field Recruiting
Alabama Track and Field

Iowa Track and Field Recruiting Standards

University of Miami Track and Field Recruiting Standards

How I Made My College Decision - Gen Hirata

Gen Hirata

The college decision is a tough one, but I feel like the choice was clear for me. I have been pole vaulting for a little over two years and knew since day one that I would want to compete in the sport in college. I searched for the best schools with the best pole vaulting programs in the nation and contacted their coaches. I researched and visited several schools before I found my top pick, the University of South Dakota. When I talked to Coach Derek Miles on the phone for the first time, I knew South Dakota would be a top contender for me. After a few more phone calls with other coaches I narrowed down my choices and visited my top four schools, Virginia Tech, the University of Arkansas, the University of Virginia, and the University of South Dakota. Although all of these schools had outstanding programs, both athletically and academically, I decided that South Dakota would be the right fit for me. After meeting all of the pole vaulters at South Dakota and speaking with all of the track and field staff, I knew South Dakota would be my top choice. Coach Miles ensured me that he would do his absolute best to make me the best pole vaulter I could be and I genuinely believed him. His coaching style is similar to the way my current club coach, Val Osipenko, teaches which was something that was very important to me in my decision making process. Coach Val and coach Miles are both passionate about what they do and thoroughly enjoy coaching others to success. In the end, I knew for certain that the University of South Dakota would be my new home for the next few years. 

SOUTH DAKOTA TRACK AND FIELD

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

 

College Track and Field Recruiting - What Should I Be Doing In My Sophomore Year In High School?

College Track and Field Recruiting

In less than a year, college coaches will be allowed to start contacting you. On September 01 of your Junior year, your recruiting process will begin. As a result, it is imperative that you devise a plan of action now.

Below are three suggestions for you to consider during your sophomore year of high school to optimize your college recruitment experience:

DETERMINE THE BEST FIT FOR YOU

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 schools 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. There is much more to college track and field than simply Division I.

Create a list of schools that you would be happy at without track and field - just in case your athletic career does not go as planned.

TAKE CHARGE 

Do not be passive. Start reaching out to college coaches now from the schools on your list. In my personal dealings with high school student-athletes, I often heard prospects state that the schools on their list were comprised solely of programs that contacted them. If a program you’re interested in does not reach out to you, reach out to them! You will be surprised at how effective personally reaching out will enhance your recruiting experience.

Start to visit colleges during your sophomore year. Take a campus tour, check out the athletic facilities and eat lunch at a local restaurant. Start to get an idea of what it is you want in a college. You can’t sit down and speak with the coach until your Junior year, but you if you happen to bump into them you can say, hi.

COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY

Over the span of my thirty-year coaching career, I learned that communication is the most important element to reaching your goals. It is imperative that you learn to communicate openly and effectively with your parents, high school coach, and college coaches.

Because it is only your sophomore year college coaches are not allowed to respond to your emails and other forms of communication, but now is still a good time to start reaching out. Fill out their online questionnaire. Send an email expressing your interest in their program and give them a brief overview of who you are as an athlete and student.

Your sophomore year is a great time to begin readying yourself for the process that is about to begin. You should view this time as your pre-season training. Although there will be no meets during this time the work and preparation that you do now will be critical to future success.

For more recruiting information click below:

What Should I Be Doing in My Senior Year 

What Should I Be Doing in My Junior Year 

 

College Track and Field Recruiting: What Should I Be Doing In My Junior Year In High School?

Track Recruiting

RECRUITING ADVICE FOR CURRENT JUNIORS –

Your Junior year of high school has arrived. With the new NCAA recruiting rules in place, coaches were allowed to start contacting you on September 1st. Many programs are in the midst of finalizing their recruiting classes for this year and will begin focusing their efforts on next year’s class – this year’s juniors.

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:

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.

SENIORS - What should you be doing? CLICK HERE