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Digits: Five Fun Stats

Based on the performances lists, most weren't surprised to see such fast times come out of this past weekend. With huge meets taking place all over the nation, we were bound to have some strong results that would get us closer to what the NCAA qualifying picture is actually going to look like. As we look evaluate these outstanding runs, it may be tough to put some of them in perspective. That's where we comes in. We took some of the numbers from this past weekend and were able to make some interesting findings. Check out some fun stats below and see for yourself...

***Keep in mind that the data we are using for all of this is from TFRRS. That data only goes back to 2010. We do not have data from before then.***


Prior to this weekend, the fastest flat-track converted mile run since 2010 was 3:57.44 from Patrick Joseph (Virginia Tech) in 2015. Now, Illinois' Jonathan Davis has the fastest flat-track time since 2010 with a converted time of 3:55.46. Not only is Davis the fastest flat-track performer in recent history, but he also accomplished something else pretty huge...

Jonathan Davis is the first runner with freshman eligibility (since at least 2010) to own a time under the 3:56 mark. Justyn Knight of Syracuse originally held that top mark when he ran 3:56.87 as a redshirt freshman in 2016. Ironically, Knight is currently 2nd in the NCAA behind Jonathan Davis.


The Oregon men accomplished something pretty special this past weekend by putting FOUR men under the 4 minute barrier. All of their athletes currently claim spots in the NCAA Top 10. Since 2010, there have been only five other teams that have accomplished this feat. Georgetown (2016), Oregon (2015), Georgetown (2015), and Oregon (2013) have all had four individuals run under the 4 minute barrier. Oklahoma State did the unthinkable in 2013 when they put FIVE men under 4 minutes.

When you look back and consider how legendary some of these squads were, you can't help but be impressed with what the Ducks did this past weekend. Still, there's a bit more to this story than just that...

The 2018 Oregon men now join the 2015 and 2016 Georgetown squads as the only teams to put four men under 4 minutes in the same weekend. However, no team has ever done it as early as this Oregon team has. Georgetown was only able to put four men under 4 minutes at the same Boston University meet that takes place the weekend before or on Valentines Day.


In case you didn't know, UTEP's Michael Saruni is really good...

Saruni ran a time of 1:45.19 this past weekend at the Texas Tech Classic. That time alone is the fastest 800 time in the NCAA since 2010 by .74 seconds. However, because Saruni was running at 5000 ft of altitude, he actually earned a converted time of 1:44.89. If you count altitude conversions into the equation, Saruni is the 2nd man in NCAA history to EVER run under the 1:45 mark. Even without the conversion, he is still #2 All-Time.

The only other NCAA athlete to run under the 1:45 mark during indoor track? Saruni's head coach, Paul Ereng, with a time of 1:45.84 set back in 1989...


So far this season, only two men have gone under the 14:00 barrier (Ben Veatch & Emmanuel Rotich). After the NCAA failed to produce another sub 14 minute result this past weekend, I became interested as to when we have historically seen those fast 5K's begin...

From 2010 to 2017, there have been 301 men that have run under the 14 minute mark. Of those 301 men, only 37 of them (or 12.3%) have run under the 14 minute barrier before the beginning of February. Basically, this means that a heavy portion of fast 5K's should be coming within the next week or two...

However, 2018 now joins 2017 and 2013 as the only years since 2010 to not have someone run under the 14 minute barrier between January 20th and January 31st. In addition to that statistic, the average number of men under the 14 minute mark from 2010 to 2017 before the month of February is 4.6 men. Right now, we are only at 2.

Of course, it's important that we don't get caught up in arbitrary numbers and averages. Those numbers, in the grand scheme of things, probably won't make any difference. Still, it at least gives us a perspective that this year may be a little slower than usual in the 5000 meters...


Back in late December / early January, we released a TSR Mailbag article that reviewed some of the averages and numbers that individuals (and relays) would need to hit if they wanted to secure themselves a spot to Nationals.

In that article, we projected that the time needed for the 12th and final eligible DMR to qualify for Nationals in 2018 was going to be 9:30.31. Obviously, that is just a projection. However, our trend-line suggests that the NCAA DMR's need to be within that range if they want to be safe against the numbers this season.

Projections are all well and good, but let's put those aside for now. Let's take a look at some averages.

From 2010 to 2017, the average time it took for a team to earn the 12th open (and final) qualifying spot to NCAA's in the DMR has been 9:32.07. Naturally, it's easy to jump to conclusions and say that Oregon's time of 9:31.87 is faster than that average and, therefore, should be enough to get them to qualify. That may be true, but if we cut out the first three years of our average (2010, 2011, 2012) and just took the averages from 2013 to 2017, you will find that that time becomes 9:31.33.

The Ducks will most likely pursue another fast DMR before the season's end. However, if history continues to stay on it's projected path, then Oregon's current time won't get them into NCAA's.


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