How Foot Locker All-Americans Fare In The NCAA

USATSI_11811602_168385907_lowres.jpg

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

The top 15 finishers in Saturday’s Foot Locker National Cross Country Championships will have the title of high school “All-American” bestowed upon them. Despite Nike Cross Nationals' growth weakening the San Diego race in recent years, Foot Locker All-Americans still represent the elite of the elite high school prospects. Every NCAA coach in the country wants a runner who thrives at the most prestigious prep cross country race in the world.

With that in mind, I was curious how Foot Locker All-Americans have performed at the NCAA level in the last decade. When an athlete is among the best in the country as a high schooler, the expectation is for them to continue that trajectory in college. But how often do U.S. prep superstars actually pan out in the NCAA?

To find out, I looked at every high school senior who finished top 15 at Foot Locker since 2009 and then compiled their NCAA stats. I wanted to see how frequently true freshmen compete at the NCAA Cross Country Championships just a year removed from Foot Locker, and also how many of them immediately earn All-American finishes (top 40) in their first year on campus.

Top 15 Foot Locker Finishers As Seniors

Men

Women

Qualify for NCAAs As True Freshman

32%

39%

NCAA All-American As True Freshman

7%

9%

The data shows that the step up from high school to the NCAA level is tremendous. 

Less than one-third of male Foot Locker All-Americans from 2009-2018 competed at NCAA XC the following season as true freshmen, while their female counterparts fared only slightly better at 39%. And the chances of a top 15 finish in San Diego translating to a top 40 NCAA XC showing in the span of one year is minuscule: less than 10% of men and women accomplished that feat in the last decade. 

For every Grant Fisher and Weini Kelati, there’s 10 Foot Locker stars who don’t immediately make the jump to NCAA stardom. 

Obviously, stats aren’t required to know that the difference between U.S. high school and NCAA competition is stark. The inclusion of international athletes and the sophistication of training methods makes for a much larger pool of elite talent at the college level compared to high school.

While a top 15 Foot Locker finisher is much more likely to miss NCAAs and/or redshirt as a true frosh than compete at nationals in their first collegiate season, the numbers are more encouraging for prep stars as their NCAA careers develop. From the Foot Locker classes of 2009 to 2015 (those that have, for the most part, completed their collegiate careers), over 70% of men and women have qualified for NCAA XC two or more times.

And as far as translating a Foot Locker All-American award to an eventual NCAA All-American finish, 34% of men and 43% of women from 2009 to 2015 were able to accomplish that feat at least once as a Division I collegiate.

Top 15 Foot Locker Finishers As Seniors

Men

Women

1 or More NCAA All-American Finishes ('09-'15 Class)

34%

43%

Qualify for NCAA 2 or more times ('09-'15 Class)

77%

70%

So on Saturday at Balboa Park, the award winners will end their high school cross country careers with expectations of similar success at the next level. But if the trends of the last decade continue, that success will likely take years to develop. With injuries, training changes, and a significant uptick in competition, it’s hard to maintain an elite level from high school to college. 

How to Watch: 2020 London Marathon

null

Create a free account to unlock this video!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Here's how to watch the 2020 London Marathon on FloTrack. The race is available to viewers in Canada, Australia, Pan Europe (excluding UK/Ireland and Italy) and Pan Asia (excluding China and Japan).

NCAA XC Opening Weekend Schedule

Weini Kelati

Abilene Christian XC Invitational (Abilene, TX)

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Jacob Kiplimo Runs 7:26 To Beat Jakob Ingebrigtsen In Rome 3k

Screen Shot 2020-09-17 at 12.34.15 PM.png

(c) 2020 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Mondo Duplantis Clears 6.15m To Break Outdoor Pole Vault WR

Screen Shot 2020-09-17 at 1.03.34 PM.png

Mondo Duplantis has now set the indoor and outdoor pole vault world records in 2020 after the 20-year-old cleared 6.15m in his second attempt on Thursday in Rome.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

NCAA XC Champs Scheduled For March 15, But Hurdles Remain

Screen Shot 2020-09-17 at 10.31.31 AM.png

The NCAA Division I Council has approved a proposal to hold the cross country national championships on March 15, 2021, although conflicts with indoor and outdoor track and field could still stymie the plan, the NCAA announced on Wednesday.

FloSports Partners With Rx Sports

5f623077828e9.jpg

FloSports has partnered with Rx Sports, producer of world-class CBD products, perfect for your training recovery needs.

Ryan Crouser Is Having One Of The Best Seasons In Track & Field History

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

If there was such a thing as a shot put video game, you could say that Ryan Crouser is putting up video game numbers in 2020. 

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Under Attack, Men's T&F Teams Are Told Not To Fight Back

USATSI_10690324_168385907_lowres.jpg

As men’s NCAA track and field programs have been cut en masse in 2020, alumni have consistently emerged as the most powerful voices of resistance against the institutions they once represented. 

University Of Minnesota Is Cutting Men's Track And Field

Obsa Ali

Citing a projected revenue loss of $75 million, the University of Minnesota announced on Thursday that they will be cutting men’s indoor and outdoor track and field upon the conclusion of the 2020-2021 school year. A formal decision is pending approval by the Board of Regents, but the move is expected to be implemented.

NCAA Oversight Committee Recommends March XC Champs

Weini Kelati

On Wednesday, the Division I Competition Oversight Committee recommended that the NCAA Cross Country Championships take place on March 15, 2021, with field sizes of 255 per gender, according to a report from the committee.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In