On the other hand, fleeing in real life is a perfectly valid combat maneuver, and often key to victory and control of the seas.
German surface assets in WWII typically had standing orders to flee, making them far more formidable threats than if they actually engaged enemy warships. Fleeing made them invincible, allowing them to remain a potent threat to shipping. They, too, were "out of range of timely assistance".
French fleets at the height of the age of sail were famous for their ability to flee, too. Their agile ships and excellent training on last-minute escape maneuvers gave them a massive strategic advantage, as the British or, say, the Dutch could never challenge a French formation to a decisive battle - so their amassing a fleet of decisive strength would have been in vain, making them vulnerable on all other fronts and weakening their hold of their respective empires. In contrast, the French fleets could maneuver at will and, thanks to the lack of means of locating ships at sea, strike with decisive strength against various overseas assets, another situation paralleling Trek.
If Starfleet only operates a dozen ships of Enterprise
caliber, at least on the frontier, it might be vital to drill their skippers in the art of tactical and strategic fleeing, thereby multiplying their power.
We can rest assured, though, that the simulation would catch the cadet coming and going. Fleeing would no doubt be rigged to lead to destruction as well.