Abstract by Alex Hedquist
An Analysis of Distance Runner Development at Top Division I NCAA Schools
Our purpose was to track the progression of NCAA Division I athletes at top universities. We ultimately wanted to see if there was a "coaching effect" that showed certain schools developped athletes better. If every school received a 4:10 miler out of high school, for example, which teams would produce the most improvement?
Dr. Gilbert Fellingham has worked extensively with sports data, specifically, volleyball and baseball. He recently published a study that showed performance curves for baseball athletes over their professional careers to look at trends in athlete performance based on age. Jared and I wanted to see if we could tap into this same performance curve algorithim, looking at runner trends at top universities like BYU, Wisconsin, Colorado, and Arkansas.
We hope that our research and findings will lead to further use of these performance curves and not only pique the interest of the running community, but of the entire sports research industry as people seek the "why's" and "how's" of high-level performance.