When first going into track season my freshman year, the only thing I knew was running is hard no matter how long you are running for. When the distance is shorter, you run at a faster pace and times you get are lower. When the distance is longer, you run at a slower pace and the times you get are higher. The thing about watching a track meet is that you don't truly know what good and bad times consist of. You hear times and distances shouted out at random it seems: 5:10, 11.4 seconds 19 feet, 3:40, 6 feet. How is a person supposed to know what times, distances, and heights should make you laugh or should make your jaw drop. My goal in this blog is to explain what is considered the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Now one thing about this blog is that it's not about saying that if someone runs a certain time, throws a certain distance, or jumps a certain height that they are a bad athlete or should give up running or throwing or jumping forever. It just means that either they should find another race or event, train a bit more, or really need to drastically improve form. But I am a firm believer that with enough work anyone can be relatively good at any event. It just takes work.
One more thing I have to point out is factors that go in these times. These include gender, age, body composition sometimes, whether it's an indoor or outdoor track, competition you are facing, and sometimes circumstances of weather and wind and such. Unfortunately, I am not the best at saying what times or distances are good or bad. This is more of my educated opinion I have gotten from experience and research. I tried to split it up from average high schooler, high school champion, D1 athlete, and olympic times. Since I am not as good with knowing good girl race times, I decided to only put boys times. Sorry gals. These are approximates and not exact in any way shape or form. And remember, like grades, times, distances, and heights do not define you at all. Just wanted to say a little food for thought before I started:
100 meter: This is the shortest event in outdoor track and field. I'm not a sprinter, but I know that an average track high school boy gets around a 11.9 seconds to 12.5 seconds. Milliseconds are a big deal in this event. The winner of a state championship should get around a 10.4 to 10.5 seconds. Good D1 athletes will get around 10.1 seconds. Olympic athletes get under 10 seconds regularly. The world record was ran by Usain Bolt pretty recently. He ran a 9.5 seconds.
200 meter: The world record is also held by Usain Bolt with 19.1 seconds. Typical runners that train with sprinters run around a 25 second flat. Seniors, though, get closer to 23.6. State winners get typically close to 21.8. Good D1 athletes get under 21 seconds.
400 meter: The dreaded 400 record is actually held by the American Bred Michael Johnson with 43.1 seconds. That is running four 100 meter under 11 seconds each time... which is nuts. The range for the 400 is pretty spread out. At freshman year, if you can break 60 outdoors, you are above average. One a state 4x400 meter relay, each guy is running around a 50 second (not including the handoffs of the baton). A winner at state will get around a 48 second. D1 guys should get around a 46 second.
Now we start getting in to distance events: my kind of events. I have a better bearing of these times that others.
800 Meter: If you can break a 2:10 minute, you are pretty solid for a high school veteran. 2:05 minutes is more preferable for relays and such. If you break a 2:00 800 meter, though, you are very solid. State champions get very close to 1:50 to 1:53 minutes. 1:48 and under will get you places in college. For the pros, though, you'll want to get very close to 1:42 considering the world record is a 1:40.9.
1600 meter (aka the mile): This is my favorite event and one I understand the best. Breaking the 5 minute mile is a thing that all boy runners strive for. In order to be competitive at your conference championship your senior year, you need to be under 4:30 minute for an average high school conference. State runners get a ridiculous 4:15 and under. For top colleges, they want people as close to the 4:00 mile barrier as they can. Olympic runners break 3:50 and under (they don't run the 1600 in the olympics; instead they run the 1500 meter but thats a conversation for another day... and to just confuse you even more, the official 1600 meter and the official mile is a difference of almost 10 meters... but again thats for another day). The record is 3:43.1 minutes. The runner ran the second 800 meters faster than the first 800 meters... which is not possible... like really.
3200: This is the 2 mile, a race I have never ran in an actually meet before (which is pretty surprising but it seems that will change this year). Breaking 10 minutes is a requirement for competitiveness throughout high school. Breaking 9:40 should make you win conference. State champions get under 9 minutes (which is crazy) D1 guys get closer to around 8:40 (thats 4:20 mile twice in a row). The record for 2 mile is unreal though: 7:58.6...
Triple Jump: This is the dumb jumping event that I do... so i can say its kinda dumb but still fun. The range is all over the place because there isn't that many people that know about it not to mention actually do. 38 feet should place you at a senior meet. 40+ feet will make you place pretty well in competitive meets. 45+ should get you top 10 at state. There is always that one guy that jumps like 49 feet, though, and wins by like a foot because he is the only one who knows what he's doing. 52+ should be in good college. The record is 60 feet which is held by a british guy of all guys... I would think that my home country should hold that record but i guess not.
Long Jump: 19+ is good in high school. 23+ should place you at state. 25+ is NCAA D1 winner worthy. 29 feet is the world record. As you can most likely tell, I don't do long jump considering the length of this segment.
Pole Vault: Ok so I'm worse with pole value than I am with long jump. High school winner should get 15+ feet... so D1 guys should get around 17 feet? I know the world record is 20 feet if that helps....
High Jump: I actually did this event one meet... and stunk at it so I never did it again. 5 feet 8 inches is a ok senior. Above 6 feet is more preferable in high school. 6 feet 9 inches could win high school state. 7+ feet is good in college. World record is 8 feet... So if I held a bar straight above my head, people could jump over that.
Discus/shot: I don't throw. I don't lift. Never touched a discus in my life. I just know that 60+ feet for shot is 180+feet for discus will win stuff... big stuff. 75 feel is a world record for shot and 242 feet for discus.
Don't even ask me about hurtles because I know that people can run 300 meters with hurdles that I can without them.... so it makes me feel self conscious...
Understand all these times are based on the biggest (3A)high schools in Illinois and is not always true for all states... the college and olympic times are pretty accurate. Moral of this blog: pole vaulters are a cult... because if I don't know all about them, then no one can