- February 20, 2023
When Flagler Palm Coast junior Brandon Kalasnik was a freshman, he thought he would be a football player.
Going out for the track team was a requirement. He didn’t expect running to become his passion. Now, it’s the first thing he thinks about when he wakes up, and the last thing when he falls asleep.
“I had tried it in middle school, but I wasn’t very good,” he said. “Playing freshman football, I was told I’ve got to do track as well. The next thing I know I’m surrounded by a bunch of juniors and seniors pushing me every day. And that love developed.”
Kalasnik became a long a sprinter. He runs the 200 and 400 meters. He ran second leg on the Bulldogs’ 4x400 relay team last season, which finished second at both district and region and placed eighth at state.
Also at district, he ran a personal-record 51.5 seconds in the 400 meters.
“Last year, I really bumped it up. It was a major improvement,” Kalasnik said.
When he went out for track as a freshman, Kalasnik initially tried the long-distance events. He wasn’t doing very well, so one day in practice he began training with the senior sprinters. They wound up taking him under their wing.
“I naturally was decent at it. I didn’t need to be the best. I didn’t need to be a Hall of Famer.”
“I naturally was decent at it,” he said. “I didn’t need to be the best. I didn’t need to be a Hall of Famer. I quit football for cross country, and now running is all I want to do in the future.”
Kalasnik was not pleased with his performances in the 300- and 600-meter runs at the Flagler Pinnacle Preseason Classic on Feb. 18. But his 4x400 relay team with Vijay Weeden, D’Zirath Steward and Dennis Murray did win the event with a time of 3:23.95. With two new runners, that was almost as fast as the relay team’s time at state last year (3:23.45), but almost three seconds off its regional time (3:21.58).
Before he even got to the drinking fountain, Kalasnik was looking ahead to this week’s 18th annual East Coast Classic, which the Bulldogs are hosting on Feb. 25.
“This is the first meet of the season,” he said. “I’m ready for next week.”