How many fast kids turn out great in college? how many of those top 50 kids from NXN NOT from FM go on to great thing as it is? probably on average, they do just the same as the FM runners.
To be a great college runner, you can't just have been a great high school runner. Clinger still has to drop six seconds in the mile just to even make NCAAs, let alone ever compete for a title! Thats a lot of improvement to ask from any runner, whether they ran for a powerhouse or not.
College runners have to start taking care of their own nutrition, scheduling, studying time, sleep schedule and not fall victim to the party scenes. Thats just to get the opportunity to start building fitness which asks for them to train well and improve to longer distance XC races. There's a reason why we commend and make examples of the runners who do well in college, it's because they are the exceptions not the rule. sure, the opportunities to run fast and live right are abundant in college, but so are the opportunities to make decisions which will get you hurt, sick, injured, malnourished, overnourished, burnt out, and so on... Making the right decision is hard when you're an 18 year old kid and there is a lot of value placed on having "the college experience" with friends who aren't athletes or aren't concerned about their athletic careers in the same way.
FM is a great high school. They prepare their kids for college in a number of ways and they've had a number of successful runners on the collegiate level for the times they run in high school. The comparison has to be to equally talented runners in high school, and if you look at those athletes, you're probably going to be surprised at how many quit, got hurt, got slower or didn't get faster. The minority are getting substantially better and it's the same vocal minority that come on to letsrun and tell you all about it. you think the guys and gals who got sick, hurt, quit the sport or didn't improve are sitting on these boards posting about how awesome their running was in college? It doesn't mean they didn't have a good time, i'm guessing they did because the experience means a lot but they don't wanna talk about running all the time.