Date of this Version
Struve, G. Aiding in the Creation of a Track and Field Recruiting Dataset. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 2023.
While recruiting rankings are an area of coverage unto themselves for football and men’s basketball, there is a relative dearth of recruiting media available for other sports. That includes track and field, despite boasting the most participation of any high school sport, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations.
For my thesis, I aided in the development of a full-scale track and field recruiting dataset, the only known one currently in operation, hosted by The Stride Report — the preeminent NCAA distance running site. This platform will provide my work with the largest scope and viewership possible. Specifically, I wrote a one to two-sentence blurb on every recruit included in the first iteration of the dataset, which is 50 boys and 50 girls. This allowed for experimentation and implementation of subjective analysis. The work falls under a sector of sports media, while my contributions align closer to the short, punchy writing native to the advertising and public relations fields. The project constitutes a significant development in the field as a first-of-its-kind distance-centric track and field recruiting rankings. It could bring more excitement and interest not just to the site but also to NCAA and high school distance running, serve as a resource for athletes, coaches, fans and media, increase fan engagement and help expand coverage of the sport.