- Kim Berard
IMG Academy launches high school Track & Field and Cross Country program
On the heels of breaking ground on a state-of-the-art multi-sport complex that will feature an 8-lane, 400m track and additional training areas for jumps and throws, IMG Academy has officially announced the launch of a Track & Field and Cross Country program. Student-athletes will begin training and competing in the Fall 2013.
“We are excited to extend our world-class academic, athletic and personal development programming to passionate track & field and cross country student-athletes from around the world,” remarked Greg Phillips, Vice President and Athletics Director, IMG Academy. “Given our history of developing athletes to excel in college and beyond, and the work we are already doing with each of our athletes from a speed, agility and movement standpoint, it seemed only fitting that we begin this college preparatory program.”
Track & field and cross country student-athletes will call the new multi-sport complex their training home. The first phase of completion, set for August 2013, will include a stadium featuring: 5,000 seats with the ability to scale to 10,000; an 8-lane, 400m track and adjacent training areas for jumps and throws; a professional-quality Bermuda grass surface with TV-ready lights; a broadcast-ready press box with coaches’, press and radio booths and hospitality suites; and a collegiate-style video board. The second phase will follow in December 2013 and will include a 40,000 sq. ft. field house with professional locker rooms, meeting spaces, and offices.
World-renowned track and field coach Loren Seagrave, IMG Academy’s current Director of Speed and Movement, will serve as Director of Track & Field and Cross Country. Presently, Seagrave architects the speed and movement curriculum for IMG Academy’s youth, collegiate, adult and professional programs. Seagrave is also a USA Track and Field Master Coach in the sprints and hurdles, as well as the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) Curriculum Coordinator for the Coach Education and Certification System for sprints and hurdles and Director of the IAAF Coaches Academy in sprints and hurdles.
Over the years, Seagrave has worked with athletes at every level of the game – from aspiring juniors to collegiate runners to veteran NFL players and track and field Olympians. Past and present track and field program pupils include: Angelo Taylor (four-time Olympic medalist, including gold in the 400m hurdles in 2000, 2008); LaShawn Merritt (two-time Olympic gold medalist in 400m, 4x400m in 2008); Joice Maduaka (six-time British women's 100m champion, four-time British women's 200m champion); Tianna Madison- Bartoletta (2012 Olympic gold medalist in the 4x100m); Demetrius Pinder (2012 Olympic gold medalist in the 4x100m); Dwight Phillips (2004 Olympic gold medalist in the long jump, four-time World Champion in the long jump); and Donovan Bailey (two-time Olympic gold medalist in 100m, 4x100m in 1995, 1996 World Champion in 100m). In the late 1980s, Seagrave also coached LSU’s Women’s Track & Field Team to five NCAA national titles.
Outside of track and field, Loren Seagrave has worked with numerous professional athletes to increase their speed and movement capabilities and enhance their overall performance. He most recently helped prepare more than 40 top NFL prospects for the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine, including seven first-round Draft picks like Luke Joeckel (#2 overall), Sheldon Richardson (#13), and Eric Reid (#18). Past NFL pupils include: Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks, 2012 Pepsi MAX NFL Rookie of the Year); Luke Kuechly (Carolina Panthers, 2012 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year); Eddie George (Tennessee Titans); and Herschel Walker (Dallas Cowboys). He has also served as a consultant for the Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Chicago Bulls.
Remarked Seagrave of his newest endeavor: “I am looking forward to combining my years of experience working with high-caliber collegiate and professional athletes with IMG Academy’s cutting-edge technology and facilities to offer the world’s best college preparatory program for the aspiring track & field and cross country athlete.”
Available as a standalone program or paired with another sport, the program features a college preparatory school education, combined with sport-specific training and athletic and personal development in disciplines like leadership, mental conditioning, and nutrition.