St. Andrews University announced on Thursday that it planned to add men’s and women’s track and field as varsity sports beginning in the 2013-14 school year.
First-year Knights head cross country coach Bill Cason will assume coaching responsibilities for the team, according to Director of Athletics Glenn Batten.
The St. Andrews track and field teams will compete in competitions during the spring semester. The sport is one of 15 sponsored by the Appalachian Athletic Conference. Other schools sponsoring track and field with AAC affiliation are Bryan College (TN), Milligan College (TN), Tennessee Wesleyan, Montreat College (NC), SCAD (GA) and Union College (KY).
Batten said that the decision is an opportunity for the university to enhance the athletic experience for students while also strengthening the athletic department.
“We’re very excited about adding men’s and women’s track and field as our newest interscholastic sports,” Batten said in a press release. “Coach Cason is very experienced in starting new programs as he started the track and field programs at UNC Wilmington and Guilford College.
Carson said that recruiting will be focused on middle and long distance runners who will also run cross country.
“I am very excited and proud to have the honor of re-establishing St. Andrews track and field programs,” Cason said. “I feel it will be a tremendous benefit for the Knights cross country runners to be able to train and race year round. I anticipate a lot of interest from the very start. ”
Carson added that one advantages that track and field competition offers is that students will have the opportunity to advance to NAIA national championship competitions as teams and individuals.
“Our athletes will have the opportunity to compete against not only NAIA programs, but in high quality meets that include colleges and universities from NCAA Division I conferences including the ACC. SEC, C-USA and Sun Belt,” he said.