Captain Spalding wrote:
That shouldn't freak you out at all. Look back at old results- it is the norm.
Yeah, look at how many of the dudes weren't stars in college. The only one who had a big time college career was Solinsky.
Just like how many Heisman winners have shitty careers in the NFL. And how many runners have great college careers, but disappear after they graduate. It's because sucess at one level does not necessarily translate to sucess at the next.
It's definitely true that success at one level doesn't necessarily translate to the same success at the next level but most male footlock finalists have very successful college careers. Solinsky may have been the only superstar (although Billy Nelson made an Olympic Team) but Tim Moore was Big East Champion and I think a two time All-American and ran under 29 minutes for 10k. Bobby Lockhart was a two time All-American and part of a national championship team, Sheikh had a great first year at Northern Arizona (broke 14 for 5k, and I'm pretty sure was top 10 in cross) and he also had some success at Louisville, etc.
I'm not going to go through the whole list and certainly there was some big disappointments but I think expectations for footlocker finalists are too high. We have this idea that every guy who is a footlocker finalist should be All-American and every top 10 FL guy should be in contention for the national title. But when you consider that most good college runners run five years so theoretically every year you have 25 college runners who were top 5 FL guys (it's always less of course because some quit), then throw in the fact that most top Canadians compete at the NCAA level, a few dozen stud Kenyans, some of the best Europeans, and let's not forget the Aussies (and Kiwis) and it's pretty damn difficult to be All-American. I think it's a bit of a stretch to suggest than anyone who is All-American was a bust in college regardless of what they might have done in high school.