I'm a junior starting to look at colleges. I know, everyone is going to say to go to the college you want besides running. I get that.
My question is, do coaches at mid tier DI or top DII and top DIII schools pay attention to kids that aren't top 7 as a frosh? The thought that is in my mind is that I'd like to go to a school where I need to improve to make top 7. I want a team that could make nationals in xc. My times aren't good enough to get me onto a better team, and this isn't about money for scholarships, it's will I get attention from the coach?
If I go DI I figure I'll be walking on, but it would likely be a mid-tier team and I may or may not be top 7 in my first year. I'm ok with that so long as I improve. I'm looking forward to working my tail off to improve and want to make the commitment.
Would I get more attention at a top DII or top DIII (top is defined by me as a school that is ranked nationally in the top 30 more than half the time in the last 10 years)?
This won't make my decision for me but it's part of my decision making process. Just another factor but not the factor. I'm also doing virtual college tours via youtube, researching progressions of runners, background and success of coaches and of course how generous the school is with merit aid (for grades and stuff).