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With start of first season, track and field looking to grow at Flagler

Jul 12, 2022
by John Jordan

Outdoor track and field joined lacrosse this year with its own inaugural season for men's and women's teams. Both started the Spring 2022 season at the University of Tampa Distance Classic in early March.

“It's really special to me that I get to be a part of Flagler's first official outdoor track team during my senior year,” said Jessie Mescal, who earned second team All-Peach Belt Conference honors in the 5,000 and 10,000 meter runs. “Having an official outdoor track team grants the team a lot of opportunities and I know that this season will mark the beginning of growth and success for Flagler track.”

Over the past decade or so, high school cross country runners have looked at collegiate programs with an indoor and outdoor track season to keep competing. Flagler head cross country/track and field Coach Brian Beil recognized this trend and was able to start the indoor track and field program for the 2014-15 season.

“The reality of distance running at the collegiate level is that you have to do it year-round,” said Beil. “When you are asked the question, 'how do you become a nationally-relevant distance running program?' you have to have an indoor and an outdoor track and field season.”

One of the most recent highlights of the women's indoor program was Heloise Duffie de Tassigny who earned NCAA Division II All-America honors after finishing in ninth place in the mile run in 2018. The men debuted at the NCAA Division II Championships a couple of years earlier when Andrew Smith participated in the mile run.

The goal for the track and field program is to average 80 athletes on its rosters. The rosters are expected to get to 66 for next season and progress each year to reach that goal number.

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