Mid distance average high schooler: Oregon/Ole Miss/Texas
Mid distance genius high schooler: Villanova/Princeton/Virginia/
Distance average high schooler: BYU/Colarado/Gonzaga/Tulsa/NAU/OSU/Wake Forest
Distance genius high schooler: Stanford/Gonzaga/BYU/Notre Dame
Texas has genius-tier options
People forgetting Wisconsin. The weather here sucks but you check every other box
I'd go UW-Whitewater or UW-Lacrosse.
Yeah, doesn't really check your boxes, but whatever.
Cole Sprout, Charles Hicks, and Ky Robinson aren’t even coached by the same coach as Fisher/Cranny.
Tell me another school where the freshman have already performed as well as Stanford this year.
For non-D1, I'm suprised no one has mentioned Haverford. Excellent education, and there's not a lot of better coaches than Tom Donnelly.
Everybody here sure is positive they could get into Stanford.
You tell us, how bad could a Sahlman / Tuohy level runner’s grades and SAT be and still get into Stanford?
Georgetown. Seven Hoyas under 4 in the mile this year.
Male, Female, or Trans??
CU, BYU, Utah. They are far better academically than NAU, and you will still get the benefit of living at elevation. Anything 1500m and longer - what you'd have to do at sea level to equal the benefits would either compromise your quality of life or your conscience.
Running is not a career, it doesn't pay. "Pro runners" are folks that don't have a job and have a support structure (come from some money) that allows them to be a "Pro runner" especially during injuries, etc. Maybe a handful can manage otherwise but so unlikely that it can't be a primary career path. Pick a good school that also has a good team and can give you a full-ride scholarship if you are really that good. Don't go to a school just for the running program. Most good running programs are at good schools anyway but focus on what's important. With that said, I'm a runner who happens to be a professor to support my running! i.e. go to a good school and make sure you do well, ie. not just the running part.
Go DIII, get in the game day one instead of hanging around for years for your possible shot, get the degree that nobody cares about after a week anyway, kill the road race scene upon graduation, travel to XC nats and/or CIM and give it your all before you're 25, and regret nothing.
Adams State---the beaches are amazing!
Depends if you value academics. If you get a scholarship offer from Stanford take it!
Otherwise 1) NAU (best coach) 2) Oregon(best facilities)
I like coffee too much. Plus, Mormons believe some weird stuff
Beware of Princeton. The academic workload there is bone crushing and soul sapping and in general terms far harder to manage than other schools of comparable academic stature with solid athletics.
This is a very loaded question b/c the answer as with most things in life is it depends.
1. What are your running goals and what is your level of talent and potential.
Do you want to try and be an individual NCAA champion and want the best facilities, coaching, and training opportunities? That might lend itself to Oregon, NAU, Stanford, Arkansas, BYU and most other SEC schools. For cross-country specifically I'd add Wisconsin to the list along with Notre Dame but there's many others who are at the same level and if you are more focused on individual success it opens up way more schools b/c Princeton, USC, and others have produced many individual NCAA champions in track and field but aren't as competitive on the team level.
The list would be smaller if you were more interested in competing for a program that has a chance at a team championship, i.e. you are fast but not fast enough that you have a reasonable expectation of individual championship but maybe some variation depending on whether you have more of a XC or track focus.
2. Is running more for fun and are you also wanting a great education i.e. you are pretty sure being a pro runner isn't in the cards (this is true for >99% of NCAA D1 runners. What degree are you considering. For overall excellent academics across disciplines and strong track programs Stanford is at the top but you also have to put Princeton in the mix along with Notre Dame and a few others schools. For XC Harvard would also be up there.
3. Do you want to be in a specific region i.e. warm weather, mountains, ocean, etc. University of California Santa Barbara has strong academics and has a beach on campus. UCLA has great academics and athletics and is a short drive to the beach and both have great weather year round. If you like the mountains Colorado is a great choice as is BYU (unless you want to party).
4. Do you want to party and be at a school with big-time sports like Basketball and FootbalL? Arizona, USC, Florida, LSU, Georgia, really anywhere in the SEC, Pac-12, what used to be the Big 10.
If you want more actionable advice, answer the above 4 questions. It then won't be too hard to narrow down to a half dozen schools or so.
For example if you want to study physics, run in a competitive D1 program and have great weather, UC Santa Barbara checks all the boxes as does Stanford, UC Sand Diego, USLA, and UT Austin. Of those UCSB and UCSD have the weaker track programs.
If you don't care about academics, want to run your ass off with a program that will be a contender for each of the next 4 years for XC championships go to NAU.
If you want to ski in the winter go to UC Colorado, Utah State, BYU, or University of Mexico.