College Track & Field Recruiting
Getting recruited to a college track and field program is a matter of finding the right college and program for you. You need to be able to contribute immediately to a college team, winning points consistently at meets. College track is highly competitive and finding an opportunity to compete at the next level takes a lot of work.
Basics of Track and Field Recruiting
Check out the competition; do some research on where your marks and times stack up against college level scores in different conferences across the country. This will give you a better understanding of your ability level and you can target schools accordingly.
Between Division I, II, III, NAIA, and NJCAA, there are about 970 men’s track and field programs and 1,000 women’s teams.
Women’s teams offer 18 scholarships per team at the DI level, 12.6 at DII, 12 at NAIA, and 20 at NJCAA. For men, there are 12.6 scholarships at both the DI and DII levels, 12 at NAIA, and 20 at the NJCAA level.
Sprinters need to be versatile and consistently run competitive times in order to be recruited. If a coach can see that a sprinter will make a difference in the success of the team at meets, they will definitely be interested. Along with times, sprinters should also have a couple of race videos that coaches can watch and evaluate your technique.
Mid/Long Distance Runners
Distance runners often overlap competing for both the track and cross country teams. That means there can be more opportunities to find teams to compete for at the college level. This might lead to more scholarship money as well, so it will be important to do your research and find those opportunities.
Because jumpers end up being specialists in their event, they can’t contribute to as many events in high-level track meets. While having strong jumpers is still important to coaches, they won’t often earn much scholarship money. When you earn the marks of other college-level jumpers, you know that coaches may express interest in you, but you will need to be proactive and contact them first.
Shot put and discus throwers can find college opportunities as long as they are scoring well in both. Other throwers, like javelin and hammer, are also specialists and will need to be competing nationally in order to be seriously considered as a recruit to coaches.
Hurdlers can’t often score in multiple events as it is difficult to compete in both the 100m/110m and the 400m during one meet. So hurdlers should be able to also compete well in relays, where they can also contribute their talents. You should be able to demonstrate to college coaches that you can run more than the hurdles.
Scholarships for HALF MARATHON are available at five colleges for both women and men.