Athletics' effect on admissions


New Member
Feb 13, 2022
I'm currently a sophomore in high school, running XC and TF. I'm about 20 seconds away from a semi-competitive mile time for NCAA D1. I'm am also part of two honor societies, volunteer for the Salvation Army regularly, participate in a leadership position in the Sea Cadets, am two years ahead in math, and take Leadership and a respected curriculum of engineering classes at my school. I also applied to Summer STEM.
Would being competitive in track/xc have a big impact on my package? I know the Naval Academy looks for athletic ability along with leadership. Also, how do they recruit? Do I have to reach out to them?
In general, yes, athletes have a matriculation advantage, but there's no way to quantify "big impact." The general advice I've seen is that contacting the coach for your sport is a common course of action. You're doing all the right things so keep it up!
There are applicants that have a stronger admissions package because of the sports and leadership positions they have held.

This will help a lot as you apply

Then there are the recruited sports types. These folks are in effect being offered a place at the SA by the coach. A place at the SA (or the prep school) pending physical and police report etc.

The SAs recruit like any other D1 program.

You can contact them and you or your coach should.

Get those times down
This year Navy's 7th runner finished the Patriot League XC Championship race in 14th place running 25:32.3 for an 8k. His mile pace in that race was 4:54.9. Are you close to that mile pace? Do you think you can reach that mile pace in a long race? You probably already know this but you should look at to get a sense of Navy's recruiting standards. You should check out to see what times the USNA runners are running now and you should check out to check out how fast the current Navy top 7 XC runners ran when they were your age in high school.

If you think you are in the ballpark then go to and fill out the Navy recruiting questionnaire. Then write an email to the head coach (and cc the assistant coach) and introduce yourself. Let them know about your interest in running for Navy and ask them what you need to do to get recruited. Tell them that you will be sending updates after each race and then follow up with updates. If they are interested in you they will reply. If they reply, your chances of getting an appointment go up. You will still need to jump through all of the admission hoops (nomination, DODMERB, CFA, LOR, ACT/SAT, application). Start reaching out now as most of your competitors started reaching out last year!

Good luck!