Analysis of Five Track Event Performances at the Drake Relays by Age and Gender, 1978-2008
Mokashi, Varun N.
Miller, Lindsay J.
Strong, Michael A.
Hoffmann, Griffin B.
Klatt, Travis D.
Strauch, Jennifer H.
Laflen, Brad K.
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We analyzed gender and age differences in Drake Relays performance times for 2 team (4x1OO and 4x400 m relays) and 3 solo (400 m hurdles, 800 m, 10K) track events for 31 years (1978-2008). The top 10 performances were taken each year for 4 groups: high school (HS) boys, HS girls, college/university (CIU) men, CIU women. Our data set included 4583 performances total, because not all ages/genders competed in all events or for the same number of years. HS athletes of both genders showed overall improvements in performance times. HS boys improved in 2 of their 3 events (4x1OO and 400 m hurdles) and showed no change in 4x400. Similarly, HS girls improved in 3 of their 4 events (4x1OO, 400 m hurdles, 800 m) and showed no change in 4x400. C/U athletes showed very different trajectories. Like the HS athletes, CIU women improved in 3 of their 5 events (4x1OO, 4x400, 400 m hurdles), showed no change in 800 m, and declined in 10K. By contrast, CIU men demonstrated statistically significant declines in running times for 4 of their 5 events except for 800 m where they demonstrated no change. Despite the improvements in female performance times, males were faster than females in all events for all years regardless of age. As the Drake Relays includes athletes from across the country, these differences likely reflect national trends and are possibly explained by forces such as increased pressure for youth sport specialization, declining popularity of track-and-field, and Title IX.
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Miller, Lindsay J.; Mokashi, Varun N.; Strong, Michael A.; Hoffmann, Griffin B.; Strauch, Jennifer H.; Klatt, Travis D.; Laflen, Brad K. (2009-04-22)We analyzed gender and age differences in Drake Relays performance distances for 2 jumping (long jump and triplejump) and 3 throwing (discus, javelin, shotput) field events for 31 years (1978-2008). The top 10 performances ...
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