Wolf's Bane wrote:
What kind of swimming times would a sub 14 man need to be picked for this program? What are the incentives and why should a college runner choose this over a sub elite running group?
Here's the answer to the second part of your questions which really get to the crux of the Collegiate Recruitment Program.
Regarding why this vs. a sub elite running group, it has to do with upside potential on the world stage. I have to presume that a 14' 5k post-NCAA male wanting to join an elite running group still believes he can run faster, but deep in the heart, he must know it would be a stretch to ever make an Olympic Team or be competitive at the highest level of the sport. For a 14' 5k male with a swimming background, the potential to reach both of those in the sport of triathlon is much higher. Not everyone is motivated by making an Olympic Team or courageous enough to step into the unknown of another sport which is much more demanding regarding a time commitment. But for those who do fit this mold, there is a support mechanism in place to transition your talent from single sport to multi-sport.
Morgan Pearson is a great example. He is a 13:36 5k runner from Colorado with a very solid swim background, including open water swimming growing up in NJ. He had a short stint at running elite, but through exposure to triathlon, has realized this is where he can make the biggest impact on the international stage … and make an Olympic Team. He is our first male triathlete to make the National Team in his first year of racing elite. Triathlon has a few different ranking lists, but he is our #2 US male on the Olympic Qualification Ranking and #4 US male on the ITU World ranking, which is a 2 year cumulative points ranking and he only has 1 year of points!
Looping back into the swim times question, once an athlete makes our swim cuts and has the run times we are looking for, the athlete is eligible to receive a CRP Scholarship where USAT provides the athlete with a living, food, coaching and travel stipend so that the athlete can train in a full-time environment with an approved coach. Morgan started on this last year and made the National Team with results from his last races in 2018. The athlete is provided the most expensive of the pieces of gear (bike, race wheels, wetsuit, racing suit, power meter, etc...) The goal at the end of the Scholarship period is to have made our National Team standards and then funding comes through that program.
I'm curious, what does a sub elite 14' runner receive as part of their running squad?
Let me know if you want more details than above!