Some added notes on the fastest players list

Thanks for all the feedback on the fastest players list.

Track marks can be quite tricky and I thought I’d pass along some thoughts on that, as well as respond to some of the suggestions for the list.

1. Keep in mind that track marks that are wind-aided are not legal marks. Any wind over 2.0 meters per second is not allowable. Having a wind at one’s back can really push a runner to a fast time. For instance, Marvin Bracy’s best wind-aided time is 10.05, while his best wind-legal time is 10.25. That’s a big difference. Now, it is worth noting that his 10.05 was with a 2.2 wind, which is just over the legal limit, so we can surmise that he’s probably very capable of running under 10.25, but just hasn’t done it yet.

2. Look out for the NWI. You’ll see a lot of track marks that have an NWI mark next to it. That means ‘no wind information’, which makes the mark not legal and puts the validity of the mark into doubt. NWI marks are rampant in Texas high schools, which is why Texas high school track marks are notorious for their unreliability.

3. Sources for marks are very important to consider. I use Track and Field News because their criteria for making a list is quite stringent. You know the mark is correct if it makes the T&FN list. After T&FN, I go with Dyestat.com, which is a bit more comprehensive, but maybe not as reliable. Other websites like athletic.net also have a go at it, but I consider most of their marks unreliable. Of course, reports from newspapers are rarely complete and I never, ever go off of hearsay.

That all said, here’s my responses to some feed back I’ve gotten:

– Someone claimed Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk ran a 10.33, but this is certainly apocryphal, even though his bios at Oregon and Baylor claim as such (you can see, then, how such claims spread). Note also that he supposedly also long jumped 21-8 while running a 10.33. Those are two marks that don’t go together (a 10.33 sprinter should easily jump at least 23 feet).

– Someone offered to me Cordarrelle Patterson, a wide receiver heading to Tennessee, saying he ran a 10.25. A little research showed that he actually ran a 10.33 with an NWI next to it. He’s probably pretty fast, but not 10.33 fast and his speed on the track is definitely not quantifiable at this point. I have no doubt that the 10.33 will be quoted in the fall by announcers with no knowledge of the situation.

– Incoming freshman Morgan Steward of Missouri was another suggestion, but his 10.44 run recently was an NWI time.

– The Atkinson twins of Notre Dame just competed in the Big East Track Championships. George ran a 10.36 and Josh ran a 10.39. Alas, both were wind-aided beyond the legal limit and so their marks are not official, although George’s race was barely above at 2.2 mps. Otherwise, neither Atkinson has topped the 10.60 mark to date and so do not make this list.  But both are very fast nonetheless.

– Another commenter suggested I check out another incoming Irish freshman, Chris Brown, who indeed has a best of 51-2 1/2 in the triple jump when he was a junior. But I was unable to verify the claim that he has a 7 foot high jump or that he ran a legal 10.51 (the mark I saw had an NWI next to it). However, his 6-8 high jump and 23-9 long jumps are legit, so he’s a very good athlete. Not a speed merchant, but a great, explosive athlete.

Thanks for the input folks. Keep ‘em coming.

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Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of Heismanpundit.com, a site dedicated to analysis of the Heisman Trophy and college football. Dubbed “the foremost authority on the Heisman” by Sports Illustrated, HP is regularly quoted or cited during football season in newspapers across the country. He is also a regular contributor on sports talk radio and television.

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4 Responses to Some added notes on the fastest players list

  1. Tina May 15, 2012 at 6:31 am #

    Check out YellowFlag project, the first social network for football fans that is also developed by veteran soldiers who got wounded in Iraq. Very inspiring story where your pledge would make a difference http://rckp.st/HOid4

  2. Zach May 16, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

    Thanks for the feedback. I was not sure what thew NWI meant next to some of the times I saw on the ESPN stat tracker and now I do. Very interesting read!

  3. mb2trojan June 19, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

    Surprised Marqise Lee did not make honorable mention with his over 25 foot long jump

  4. HP June 19, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

    MB, that just happened, so i haven’t had a chance to add him yet.