As the 2016 Rio Olympics begin to turn their cameras towards Olympic Stadium for the track & field portion of the Games, American athletes like Raven Saunders (shot put) and Sydney McLaughlin (400m hurdles) are being celebrated in their high schools across the country. According to the 2015-16 annual High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations, track and field participation for both girls and boys increased at the largest rate, with an additional 12,501 boys and 7,243 girls participating. Track and field maintains its position as the most popular high school sport for girls with 485,969 participants and second for boys behind football with 591,133 participants.
The future of Team USA can be found walking down school hallways and running, jumping and throwing in the shadows of high schools all over the United States. According to USA Track and Field CEO Max Siegel, “The school system is the lifeblood of our early talent-development pipeline in the United States. Seeing the popularity of our already great sport continue to grow is exciting for our future. It is fitting that this news has arrived as the athletes at the top of that pipeline prepare to compete at the Rio Olympic Games. They will be inspiring those 1 million-plus athletes, and more.”
To read more about the increase in high school participation, click here.
NFHS Coordinator of Sports/Tennis Liaison