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June 9, 2017

Where the heck do all these Division I NCAA Track and Field Championships qualifiers come from?

There’s a lot of pontificating and seer-saying going on around NCAAs week, so if you are of a more reality-based, graphical persuasion, then you have found the right web page. Herein lie a few charts that represent some hometown data for all of the athletes about to compete at the 2017 Division I NCAA Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon. All statistics are courtesy of the good folks at U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

Of the ~850 athletes set to compete, about a quarter of them were born outside of the United States:

Of those ~200 foreign born, athletes, here are the countries that they hail from. A pretty clean smattering throughout Europe, with hot-spots outside of Jamaica, Kenya, Australia, and Canada:

 

As far as U.S.-based athletes go, California and Texas lead the pack, which is intuitive. Both states have prestigious high school systems. The rust belt holds up well, with Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania holding their own. One note – Oklahoma and Hawaii do not have hometown representatives at the meet:

This next one has a little bit of sauce on it. We took each state’s population from the U.S. Census Bureau and benchmarked their ability to produce a NCAA qualifier. The darker the state, the more “efficient” they are. Fore example, it takes 1.8 million West Virginians to produce one qualifier. Which, compared to the rest of the states, is generally not good. Montana on the other hand, leads all states in efficiency. It only takes ~175,000 residents to produce one qualifier, even though they only have six qualifiers total. Still not bad!

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