If you look at the recruits they are fast, undertrained and injury free in HS. They take 57 sec 400 runners and make 2:02 800 runners, 2:10 females and make them 1500 runners and 4:55 milers and make them 3,000 steeplers. They also recruit heavily from VA. True, low volume when compared to many programs but the runner is considered based on their strengths and weaknesses. Obviously a 10,000 runner isn't doing what a 1500 runner is doing.
The training environment, strong academics, athletic department support and alumni accomplishments all weigh into the lure for high school kids. STEM the best in the state then add strong graduate studies, vet school, med school and it's very appealing. A lot of alumni stay in the area and with the corporate and engineering opportunities it's a perfect storm for excellence.