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Running in college (Read 87 times)


Canadian princess

    Hi all,

    My son is only a freshman in high school but wants to run in college. Track and cross country times are all posted so I am wondering what he needs to do. I don’t really know and I figured some of you would have experience.

    Thanks Smile

      I assume that you mean your son is a freshman in high school.  If he wants to run in college, he should start by getting good grades; you can't run in college if you can't get into college.  Then he should work hard, enjoy being on a team, and do what his coach tells him to do.  If he does that, by his junior year he should have a good handle on where he is academically and running-wise.  Then he should start looking at schools where he can get what he wants out of running while still getting a decent education.

       

      I was looking to be on a team and push myself without it becoming all consuming and I didn't have D1-level talent.  I added that onto my wish list for schools and ended up at WPI which was a good fit for me.  When your son gets there, he needs to be honest about what kind of running he wants to do, what kind of times he has run, what his grades are, and what he wants to do with his life and find a school that will match all (or most) of that.

       

      Hi all,

      My son is only a freshman but wants to run in college. Track and cross country times are all posted so I am wondering what he needs to do. I don’t really know and I figured some of you would have experience.

      Thanks Smile


      Canadian princess

        I love WPI! I know a few people who are there right now. I like your strategy. He is already a very good student and I am hoping that running will give him an edge to get into a school he likes. I’ve sent other kids to college but he is my first who is into sports. Thank you.

          Well, it's obvious that if he wants to be on the teams in college he'll have to be fast in his events.

          And it's obvious that he'll have to have the GRADES to get into college. But, distance runners seem to be scholastic nerds, so that shouldn't be a problem. (most of the 4.0 kids on the track team are distance runners)

           

          If you're asking about how to help him reach his potential as a distance runner:

          #1 mileage

          #2 avoid injury

           

          Depending on what division, what conference, and what school he's interested in; HS times like 3:50 1500m, 1:52 800m, 8:15 3000m would get the attention of most schools. Faster times would possibly get scholarship offers from D1 schools. National HS times seem to ebb and flow; my time for 5th place in State for 1A schools would have WON State for the next 6 years, and even won for 2A and 3A a couple of those years. There may be a glut of fast runners, or very few, when he's a senior.

          55-59 age group  -  University of Oregon alumni  -  Irreverent and Annoying


          Canadian princess

            Thank you. Running is just one piece and like you mentioned, runners are a smart bunch. It feels like a good environment. He feels confident and patient that his times will come down. His 800m is 2:16. Hopefully he will have a good track season this spring.

              Yeah, the grades are important. It's also important to get used to juggling the grades with other commitments and having at least some amount of fun.

               

              I will note that freshman year of high school is still pretty far from college, so I wouldn't worry about the times for a whilw. Personal experience - I ran 11:28 for a two mile as a freshman in high school, but still was able to run at WPI. I was at the back of the pack my freshman year of college, but my training in high school was kind of limited.

               

              The biggest thing between high school and college that I can remember is that everyone in college was way more committed. But it was also way more fun because everyone was committed.

              tbye


                Personal Opinion: Running should be about the 3rd priority on the list when choosing a college. The first and most important is grades, the second is cost and lastly should be running. Don't choose an expensive school just because their CC Team is good. You may come out a decent runner but you'll also come out in a tremendous amount of debt which far out weighs being a good runner.

                 

                I'd also look at coaches with proven track records. The best coaches are ones that can turn no ones into someones. I wish I would have spent more time chatting with coaches and training philosophies, instead I burned 4 years of optimal running age and all I learned was how not to train. All to win a marathon and post my fastest times after college. I've seen runners in high school that don't amount to much, and then choose a college with a good coach and post ridiculous times.

                 

                Choose wisely!

                M_M_C


                  Couldn't agree more.

                   

                   

                  I will note that freshman year of high school is still pretty far from college, so I wouldn't worry about the times for a whilw. 

                   

                  My freshman year PRs were 5:28 (mile) and 24:00 (XC 5K) and I ended up running 4:36 (mile) and 16:58 (XC 5K) my senior year, which was good enough to run D3. If you just looked at my freshman year, or even my sophomore or junior years, you wouldn't think I would be good enough to run in college. For the most part, the only times that really matter are those that you run when you start communicating with coaches. If he runs well early, great for him. If he doesn't, its not the end of the world. There's a lot of time left.

                   

                  I would say getting good grades and building up mileage to about 50-60 (over time) would set him up well for for running in college.

                   

                  On a side note, I find it funny that there's a lot WPI love going on in here. I was accepted there, but the coach didn't reply to my emails, which left a bad taste in my mouth. Ended up elsewhere (and very happy with my decision) and ran a lot faster than I would of under his coaching.

                  3K: 8:29.12 (2017)     5K: 14:56.59 (2016)     8K: 25:27 (2016)     15K: 54:46.2 (2019)     FM: 2:58:48 (2019)


                  I'm out of ideas

                    Which college he attends and which division it is will be major factors in whether he can make the team and run in college.  It would likely be much easier  at a D3 school where there are often no criteria for being on the team other than a willingness to practice everyday.  Contrast that with top D1 programs where he would have to beat some fairly stringent times to even be considered.

                    2019 Races:

                          6/01/19 - IHM Nun Run 5K

                          6/08/19 - Eagle Up Ultra 24-Hour

                          6/29/19 - Loopy Bunny 6-Hour

                          8/17/19 - Lean Horse 30M

                          9/21/19 - NC24

                      I don't know if the goal is to earn a scholarship to help defray college costs, or to just enjoy the experience of being on the team and competing. There are many great D2 and D3 colleges, and realistically the education is the same. The degree might not be as prestigious, which is why it's a good idea to transfer Sr year to graduate at a more prestigious college for resume material. In my opinion, the college experience is elevated by going to a region that's of interest. For some, it might be areas with opportunities for outdoor activities like Colorado, for others it might be the distractions of urban life, like NYC. Or maybe warm climate for people from the frozen North. As for running on the team, it can be a great experience even if the particular college is not known for having good teams. My freshman year at a community college had much tighter-knit track and XC teams than at UO, more of a family than a team.

                       

                      From my coaching guru, John Gillespie:

                      "When I'm recruiting, I don't need to go watch them compete in meets. Maybe some of the jumpers. I do want to see them, and make sure they're not a midget or something*, but the times and heights and distances they've done are the main thing"

                       

                      (*meaning he wants to make sure they aren't at the peak of their potential in HS, and will be able to improve in college)

                       

                      Things may be a lot different now, this was in the 1980's. And only a few people had full scholarships at UO; the program was only allowed something like 10, so they split them, some people getting 1/4, some getting 1/2, etc. Of course, tuition was less than $1000 per year then. Total cost per year of tuition, books, and dorm was easily under $10,000. I was able to walk on as a sophomore due to times I had run, some of which were faster than other guys on the team getting partial scholarships. I did not go to UO for track, it was held in such high esteem in the post-Pre days that I felt completely unworthy, and continued to have imposter syndrome the entire time I was there.

                       

                      Tip I got regarding scholarships years ago: There are more unclaimed golf scholarships than any other sport. But, things may have changed since then, that was before Tiger Woods.

                      55-59 age group  -  University of Oregon alumni  -  Irreverent and Annoying


                      Canadian princess

                        Lots of great advice, thank you so much.

                         

                        I did not attend college in the US so the different divisions are something I am just learning and not really important in my mind. There are lots of great schools that are not DI. He does well in school so hopefully will get an academic scholarship. My

                        daughter got a very nice one to UVM. We live in NH.

                         

                        He loved cross country at the high school. He is the the kind of kid who puts in the work. Coach says run x miles on the weekend and he does it. I think he finished with a 17:3? 5km. Sounds fast to me but middle of the pack at meets.

                         

                        thanks again and funny about WPI. A very nice school.

                           

                          On a side note, I find it funny that there's a lot WPI love going on in here. I was accepted there, but the coach didn't reply to my emails, which left a bad taste in my mouth. Ended up elsewhere (and very happy with my decision) and ran a lot faster than I would of under his coaching.

                           

                          I know that the coaching changed a few years ago (two or three) and the standards got WAY tighter in 2011 (another coaching change). My freshman year (2010) was show up and run CC; had I started one year later, I almost certainly wouldn't have made the team.

                           

                          I was also willing to run the 10k, which was pretty thin by my sophomore year.

                           

                          DJJan, best of luck to your son!

                            At one point, WPI had a pretty robust team group on Runningahead but it has quieted down in the last 5 years or so.  I ran with ZZCaptainObvious though I am a couple years older.

                             

                             

                            On a side note, I find it funny that there's a lot WPI love going on in here. I was accepted there, but the coach didn't reply to my emails, which left a bad taste in my mouth. Ended up elsewhere (and very happy with my decision) and ran a lot faster than I would of under his coaching.

                            tom1961


                            Old , Ugly and slow

                              I walked on to a small college CC  team in 1979

                              first race sept 1977 last race sept 2007

                               

                              2019  goals   1000  miles  , 190 pounds , deadlift 400 touch my toes


                              Canadian princess

                                I walked on to a small college CC  team in 1979

                                 

                                The scoring team? Do they have that in college?

                                 

                                I skipped the NCAA talk last night partly because of this thread and my 10 yo DD had a basketball game. She scored 6 of the 12 points! I will go next year.The US college process is a lot and they are so many options compared to Canada. I think being prepared will help. Thank you.

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