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Cross Country

cross_country_maleCollege Cross Country Scholarships and Recruiting

Cross country and track and field are unique sports as far as recruiting and sports scholarships go. Athletic scholarships are divided up between the two sports. When coaches are looking to recruit a cross country runner, chances are they see potential in the athlete to compete on the track as well. College coaches do not rely as heavily on cross country times as they do track times, because of the nature of the season and the fact that all courses are different. Cross country takes place in the fall, while track is during the winter and spring, which allows for athletes to get into better shape and post faster times.

The NCAANAIA, and NJCAA all offer many sports scholarship opportunities in cross country for the right athletes with the profiles that the coaches are looking for. There are over 1,200 cross country programs on both the men and women’s sides, with many scholarship opportunities.

Men’s cross country programs offer: NCAA D1: 12.6 scholarships, NCAA D2: 12.6 scholarships, NAIA: 5 scholarships, and NJCAA: 30 scholarships.

Women’s cross country programs offer: NCAA D1: 18 scholarships, NCAA D2: 12.6 scholarships, NAIA: 5 scholarships, and NJCAA: 30 scholarships.

Getting Recruited for a Cross Country Scholarship

Whether it be on the cross country course or the track, you need to post fast times. You need to create a plan that covers all steps of the recruiting process and discovers what you are looking for in a potential college/university and then follow your plan, step by step. College coaches are more focused on your track and field times, but if you run exceptionally fast in cross country, it will open up more opportunities for you. A third party service, like The Athletic Scholar can help you create a plan of action, and help you start reaching your goals, today! Fill out the FREE Evaluation form on the homepage, and one of our expert recruiting agents will reach out to you asap!

Basic Academic Guidelines to be Eligible

High school student athletes need to earn a 3.0 GPA, 24 ACT, and at least 1000 out of 1600 on the SAT in order to become eligible to compete at the collegiate level.

What Times Earn a Cross Country Scholarship?

As mentioned above, cross country times are important, but most coaches want to see your 5k time on a track where they know the conditions of the course/surface you are competing on.  You should be prepared to compete in cross country as well as track and field at the collegiate level. Every college/university program and the coaching staff is different, so you will want to be sure to ask the right questions regarding their expectations for you.

Below are guidelines for Men’s and Women’s Cross Country times. Contact us via phone, email, or fill out a FREE Evaluation form, for more information regarding cross country scholarships. 

Men’s Cross Country

NCAA D1 NCAA D2 NAIA NJCAA
5K Below 16:25 Below 17:20 Below 17:50 Below 19:10
10K Below 35:35 Below 39:55 Below 40:00 Below 41:45

Women’s Cross Country

NCAA D1 NCAA D2 NAIA NJCAA
5K Below 20:25 Below 21:55 Below 22:55 Below 23:55
10K Below 37:55 Below 41:55 Below 45:55 Below 46:55