Texas Represents 13% of High School Outdoor Track Participation in the United States

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Outdoor track & field, on the high school level, is a monstrous sport. In 2013, 1,053,611 boys and girls competed in high school track and field. From the smallest towns to the biggest cities in North America, one can see the plethora of track facilities across the continent. 

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Ajee Wilson, World Youth, 2011, photo by PhotoRun.net

Some schools still do not have tracks. My first high school, DeSmet, did not have a track in 1972-74. Yet, we had the 400 meter state champ, and the two mile state champ. Doing repeats up driveways was our way of working out. To learn the pole vault and the high jump, Mr. Burns, our football coach/art teacher/track coach, had the pits on the back of the parking lot. If we missed the pits, we rolled down a grassy hill. My best high jump was four feet, two inches, and I believe I cleared seven feet in the pole vault. Hence, in later years, I moved to the mile and two mile. 

Track & Field has over 25,000 head coaches and nearly 80,000 assistant coaches at the high school level. That does not even touch the number of officials and parents who provide help, from hosting food booths to driving the teams back and forth to events. Track & Field is also, one of the most diverse sports in the high school firmament. White kids, black kids, latino kids, Chinese kids, high schoolers learn that their world is diverse, and that just because the kid looks different than they do, that means nothing. What is important is how you run as a relay, or how that third in the shot put keeps your team in the hunt for a dual meet or conference win. Track & Field shows boys and girls how to focus on a goal, be part of something bigger than themselves and know that whats brings us together is stronger than what sets us apart. Track & Field teaches life skills. 

Special thanks to Kevin Mangan, AT&F intern and Breanne Ward, AT&F publicist, for their hard work on the three releases we have done on high school sports; cross country, indoor track and field, and now, outdoor track & field. 


Texas Represents 13% of High School Outdoor Track Participation in the United States

MADISON - American Track and Field magazine would like to honor Texas for ranking first among all states in 2013 outdoor track participation with 135,413 participants for both boys and girls.

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) records, 1,053,611 athletes competed in running, jumping and throwing during the 2013 outdoor season. Texas, California, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York represented 35% of the country's participants. The top 10 in its entirety is as follows:

  1. Texas - 135,413 (13%)
  2. California - 99,421 (9%)
  3. Pennsylvania - 48,360 (5%)
  4. Ohio - 45,340 (4%)
  5. New York - 45,003 (4%)
  6. Illinois - 44,730 (4%)
  7. Michigan - 40,171 (4%)
  8. New Jersey - 35,302 (3%)
  9. Minnesota - 31,577 (3%)
  10. Florida - 27,806 (3%)

* Percentage in parenthesis indicates rounded percentage of total United States participants that the respective state represents.

"Outdoor track and field gives high school athletes of all shapes and sizes a chance to run, jump and throw! It is great to see the sports continued growth," noted Larry Eder, AT&F publisher.

American Track & Field is a professional publication dedicated to improving the image and performances of American track and field, cross country and race walking athletes. ATF has 37, 553 subscribers, and is in its 20th year. By becoming a go to source for training information, ATF takes a grassroots approach to improving the coaching quality of the 1.51 million serious athletes across these disciplines by providing coaches with professional and accurate coaching and training content. For more information, visit www.american-trackandfield.com.

Participation data for the last several years can be found at http://www.nfhs.org/content.aspx?id=3282.

2013 High School Outdoor Track & Field Participation Figures

StateBoysGirlsTotal
Alabama6,7154,69011,405
Alaska1,1799352,114
Arizona9,1256,72815,853
Arkansas5,6412,6208,261
California55,22144,20099,421
Colorado9,5997,09416,693
Connecticut7,3736,66114,034
Delaware1,4111,2032,614
DC181103284
Florida14,98812,81827,806
Georgia12,96910,26423,233
Hawaii1,9091,3133,222
Idaho4,2023,0597,261
Illinois24,80419,92644,730
Indiana13,7579,96123,718
Iowa12,0829,78521,867
Kansas9,9457,33017,275
Kentucky6,4765,47611,952
Louisiana8,9897,02416,013
Maine2,9422,4325,374
Maryland7,4546,28713,741
Massachusetts13,49512,51726,012
Michigan23,18816,98340,171
Minnesota15,98815,58931,577
Mississippi8,2795,39913,678
Missouri14,49711,44725,944
Montana3,4652,4205,885
Nebraska8,7407,16615,906
Nevada3,5172,9576,474
New Hampshire2,5062,1554,661
New Jersey18,88516,41735,302
New Mexico4,3153,2997,614
New York23,16921,83445,003
North Carolina14,2439,90824,151
North Dakota2,0931,6603,753
Ohio24,36520,97545,340
Oklahoma6,2215,04211,263
Oregon9,2287,12716,355
Pennsylvania24,24024,12048,360
Rhode Island1,5521,5073,059
South Carolina8,6825,85614,538
South Dakota3,5802,8616,441
Tennessee6,6975,54212,239
Texas74,32561,088135,413
Utah5,0484,4849,532
Vermont6816171,298
Virginia10,9138,66919,582
Washington12,7499,91922,668
West Virginia2,8552,4335,288
Wisconsin14,49811,75926,257
Wyoming1,6961,2802,976
Total580,672472,9391,053,611

Stats compiled by Kevin Mangan, AT&F intern. Special thanks to Breanne Ward, AT&F publicist.

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