The Jackets’ Queen Bee


In four years at Osbourn Park, Brandice Flournoy went from not feeling that she fit in to the “Prom Queen” of the track team.

The Yellow Jackets senior track star had moved from New Jersey before her freshman year and upon entering Osbourn Park, she felt a little overwhelmed. However, it didn’t take long for Flournoy to adjust, especially on the track.

She qualified for the Northwest Region meet in the 400, long jump and triple jump as a freshman and quickly became a leader of the team. She was named a captain of the girls team last season by new coach Mike Feldman and has become someone the youthful Yellow Jackets girls team look up to.

“She’s taken us to the big dance and the music has been playing for awhile,” Feldman said of Flournoy, who helped lead OP to the inauagural Cedar Run district title in last year’s outdoor season.

Growing up in Scotch Plains, N.J., Flournoy would have attended a high school roughly half the size of OP. However, her mother remarried and the family moved to Prince William County four years ago.

“It was a little scary at first,” Flournoy said. “When I first got here, I was like really upset, I missed a lot of my friends and that’s where I’d spent half my life. When I came here, it was such a big school and there were so many different people and everything. But by my sophomore year, I started to like it more. But my freshman year, I didn’t really like it. Track was like my only outlet.”

“When she got here, she was kind of THE sprinter and THE jumper and there wasn’t a whole lot to go with her,” Feldman said. “I think she kind of felt a little lost athletically, [thinking] how am I going to fit in here? This isn’t a track school. But her personaility fits in wherever she goes. She’s a great young lady.”

Her talent was evident from the start, especially in the jumping events. Despite not having a jumps coach, Flournoy won the triple jump in both the 2001 Cardinal District meet and the long jump and the triple jump in the 2002 Cedar Run district meet.

Feldman, who sees Flournoy more as an outstanding 400-meter runner, even admitted that she could make school history in the triple jump. Former OP track star Marcia Fletcher, now Marcia Noad, is the track and field coach at Clemson. Noad was recruited by Clemson in the mid 1980’s as a state champion in the 55 and 100-meter hurdles, and she owns the school triple jump mark (38-10).

Flournoy topped 36 feet last season in the outdoor meet and has jumped 35-10 at Fork Union Military Academy earlier this season, an area-best through Jan. 25. She also has the area-best 500-meter run at 1:21.15.

“She has coached herself,” Feldman said. “The jumps aspect has been very difficult for her. I am not an expert jumps coach. I have read some things, but we don’t do a lot of jumping. Our pits are going to get better, but to go as far as she’s gone is a testament to her wanting to be good. This year she’s gonna pop out there. She’s so much stronger this year than she has been in the past.”

Along with being a team captain, Flournoy is the undisputed leader of a 1,600-meter relay squad that made school history by beating the school record three different times in the 2002 outdoor season. They –Flournoy, juniors Devon Alston and Elizabeth Yates and sophomore Lindsay Simon — won the district title, competed in the Penn Relays and finished up the season with a school-best time of 4:03.94.

“Before races, we would all get really nervous, the rest of us…but she would always calm us down, stretch us out and make sure we were all ready to go,” said Simon.

Flournoy has been running track for so long through middle school and AAU track in high school that it’s been easy for her to assume a leadership role for OP.

“I try to keep everyone focused and [say] ‘listen, we can do this’ and give pep talks to some of the other teammates when they’re feeling they can’t do it,” Flournoy said. “Because I have been through so much with track, like all the years since I was nine years old, I know all the different things that can happen.”

With all-region honors in the 200-meter dash, 400-meter dash, 1,600 relay, long jump and triple jump in the past two seasons, Flournoy has just one more thing she wants to accomplish before a possible track career in college: to be all-state.

Last season, she was 12th in the triple jump in the indoor state meet and 21st in the outdoor state meet. As a sophomore, she finished 10th in the triple jump at the indoor state meet. The top eight receive all-state honors.

“It’s a heartbreaker to be so close but yet so far away” Flournoy said. “I feel like I have to get it this year. This is definitely my year to shine.”

Similar Posts