Date of Award

Spring 5-2020

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



Advisor/Committee Chair

Cara Ocobock, Ph.D

Committee Member

Adam Gordon, Ph.D.


The aim of this study is to see if there is a correlation between an athlete's body compostion and the demands of their different track and field events. Track and field is arugably the most diverse when it comes to body types in a single sport, with distance runners tending to be leaner and smaller and throwers more muscular and larger. However, most data collected is not female specfic. Thirty-one female track and field athletes were asked to take part in a series of physical measurements, which included recording their height, weight, percent body fat, and muscle mass. They were also asked to fill out a questionaire about their events, including person best and latest performance. This data was then used to compare muscle mass and percent fat across the event groups (distance, multis, sprints, jumps, throws) in which there was a linear relationship between the two with the exception of the multi event group. Percent muscle and percent fat were also looked at in terms of performance, in which there was no relationship. Finally, events were grouped by edurance and explosive athletes in which the edurance athletes were leaner, but the explosive athletes had more muscle mass. Across the board, there were many indicators that each event had specfic body composition characteristics, but that these characteristics were not a definiate indicator of performance.