Lancers look to add outdoor track

Published 3:00 pm Thursday, April 6, 2023

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Longwood athletics will add men’s and women’s outdoor track this summer, the department has announced.

The Lancers will join the Big South as the eighth team in the conference on the women’s side and seventh on the men’s side. Men’s and women’s cross country head coach Brooke Craig will take charge of the program, which will compete in the spring, while also still overseeing the cross country programs in the fall.

“As we evaluated our student-athlete experience, we recognized that adding the middle and long distances in outdoor track made a lot of sense for the department,” said Longwood Director of Athletics Tim Hall. “Brooke has done excellent work getting us prepared for this moment, and I am excited to see the Lancers compete next year!”

As a part of the competition next season, the team will compete in a minimum of six events. The Lancers will be immediately eligible to compete at the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championship that is traditionally held early in May.

Next season, the team will race in the middle and long distances, competing in the 400m, 800m, 1,500m, steeplechase, 5K and 10k. The team will look to add other events in the future as the program grows.

“When I took over the cross country program in January 2020, I had a long term vision of adding a track and field program,” Craig said. “Our focus the past three years was to lay the foundation for adding track by creating a more competitive cross country program. The work our student-athletes have put in has paid off. I am grateful to Tim for recognizing the need for track and field and the opportunities that will come with it.

“We are starting small and focusing on the big picture of creating programs that will be vying for championships each year. Myself and my coaching staff are beyond thrilled to lead the Lancers into a new era.”

The Lancer cross country teams have competed in select outdoor track events over the past few springs as part of their spring season.