By Jared Brehm | email@example.com
Senior Corey Mundy is known for breaking records as part of the Cross Country team, but this year he has been setting a new pace with the recently established Flagler Indoor Track team.
He was aiming to become the program’s first national qualifier in the school’s first year of an indoor track, but fell just short of recording a provisional time in the 3,000 meter run at the UCS Invitational on Feb. 21. He finished second overall with a time of 8:28.79, but needed to finish with a time of 8:26.37 qualify.
In the team’s first indoor track meet in January at the Art and Linda Maillet UNC Open at the University of North Carolina, he topped the 3,000 meters field with a time of 8:30.31, but missed the provisional qualifying time by four seconds for the NCAA Division II Championships.
But for all his recent accolades, his start in running was much humbler. The Green Cove Springs native began running as a sophomore at Clay High School. He decided to attend Flagler even though he didn’t hold a guaranteed spot on the team and wasn’t given a scholarship.
Coach Brian Beil quickly realized his potential.
“Corey has followed a steady course with his development as a runner,” Beil said. “There is no fast track to becoming a great distance runner. Only over the course of many days, weeks, months and years can we become an accomplished distance runner, and Corey has done very well in embracing this mindset.”
Mundy continued his passion, earning first team accolades of the All-PBC team and finishing seventh in the Peach Belt Conference Championship. Mundy hit his stride in his junior year, snagging an all-region honors and winning the PBC Championship with a blistering time of 24:29.75 in the 8K.
“It was a tough race, but it showed I had the ability to compete with guys within our conference,” Mundy said.
Last year, Mundy landed a spot in the top 10 of each race he entered and for the second year in a row, Mundy qualified for the NCAA Division II National Championship.
Mundy’s typical training schedule is not for the faint of heart. Three days a week, Mundy runs 10-12 miles a day, in addition to a “shakeout,” a 2- to 3-mile run in the afternoon to loosen the body after the longer run in the morning.
The other three days consist of mile repeats either downtown or at other various locations in St. Augustine. On Sundays, Mundy does a longer run, which varies from 16-20 miles depending on the upcoming week’s events.
“I was averaging about 80 miles a week in the fall, which is a little better than the 105 [miles] a week I was hitting in the summer,” Mundy said.
When Mundy and his teammates are not running, they are in resting and rejuvenation mode to achieve peak performance.
Mundy said that, unlike team sports like baseball and football, cross country is more mental than physical.
“It starts off with a little idea like this and then you start doing it, and then [you] realize ‘I can keep going and going,’” Mundy said.
Mundy is proud to have brought recognition to the college and the team.
“I brought a lot of firsts to Flagler Athletic Department for cross country through winning conference and going to nationals on my own. I brought a lot into Flagler College in order to make it a name to be reckoned with in the cross country world,” said Mundy.
Mundy said his motivation stems from making Flagler College a major contender.
“It was great to be the person to break through limitations that the conference had placed on Flagler. It showed that ‘Hey, we actually have a team, we have a coach, we have a part in this that is something to be reckoned with,’” Mundy said.
Beil said Mundy became a leader on and off the course, and that has helped the program.
“Corey does his best to help keep the rest of the guys on task, both in and out of practice,” he said. “He carried a 4.0 GPA last semester, in addition to qualifying for his second consecutive NCAA D-II National Championship for cross country, while serving as president for the Student Athlete Advisory Council. We have had a number of strong student-athletes come through this program, dating back to the program’s roots in the 80s. Corey is another in a long line of strong leaders we have had here at Flagler, and like those who came before, his accomplishments absolutely help with the advancement of our program.”
Now, Mundy is participating in the indoor track competition and is revving up for a new season.
The main challenge is finding the right race, Mundy explained, because having a competition which suits his abilities and strengths gives Mundy the best chance at reaching nationals.
Mundy graduates this spring with a B.A. in English and plans on attending graduate school. He also plans to stay active in the sport after college.
“I know I have the ability and integrity to stay physical and go after the goals that I want. I learned, through running, waking up and doing practices every morning at 5,” Mundy said. “I know that whatever challenges lie ahead, I can tackle them head on with courage.”