Senior Stephanie Boucher, from New Hartford, N.Y., is turning heads as she breaks records on the track. The Plattsburgh State track and field team is looking for a strong finish to an already outstanding season.
Boucher’s running career started at a young age when she followed in her older sister Savannah’s footsteps and found her passion for running.
“She was good at it so I thought I could learn from her,” Boucher said. “I played other sports but I enjoyed running the most.”
Still following in her sister’s footsteps, Boucher was looking to shine a light on her own running career.
After graduating high school, Boucher attended Mohawk Valley Community College where she began her record breaking career. In her two years with the Hawks, Boucher helped bring home a National Championship trophy.
Boucher was named the 2015 National Junior College Athletic Association track athlete of the year. She also received Most Valuable Player honors for both cross country and track in 2015.
By the end of her career at MVCC, she tallied seven All-American honors and broke six records.
“Being a bit of a family person, it was good that it was close to home,” Boucher said. “It was an amazing experience and I learned a lot.”
Cross Country assistant coach Andrew Krug was fortunate enough to see Boucher run a handful of times while she was in community college.
“I thought I could see a tremendous amount of potential,” Krug said. “Stephanie has a lot of great talent.”
When searching for colleges to attend Boucher was looking for the school that made her feel at home.
“I have family that lives in Peru, N.Y.,” Boucher said. “Aside from offering my major (Environmental Science) Plattsburgh just made me feel like I had a home away from home. People say it’s in the middle of nowhere but I love it here.”
Sports has been a huge part of Boucher’s life, but winning isn’t the only thing she gets out of running.
“It is a great way to stay healthy and running creates a special bonding experience with your teammates,” Boucher said. “I really just love the thrill of racing.”
Senior teammate Zach Grandy admires Boucher’s work ethic and thinks that it is what helps her succeed on the track.
“She runs every race like it’s her last,” Grandy said. “Even if she gets the baton last, she still is going to run just as hard as if she was in first.”
Grandy is not the only person that takes notice to Boucher’s work ethic. Track and field head coach Nick Jones loves when one of his athletes is very talented and works hard.
“Sometimes we may have to hold her back from training too much,” Jones said. “Stephanie is great to work with and a great team player.”
Being a distance runner on the cross country team and a sprinter on the track and field team, Boucher is running all year long.
“It’s nice to be a part of both groups,” Boucher said. “I don’t mind always running, I just really like to compete.”
Boucher, one of the few senior sprinters, has stepped into a leadership role for the younger athletes.
“Steph is a great teammate and is someone a lot of the younger runners look up to,” Grandy said. “She leads by example and gets better week by week which is not often seen in sprinters throughout a season.”
Coach Jones is looking forward to the next couple weeks ahead and would like to end the season on a high note.
“We just need to continue to work and stay healthy,” Jones said. “Were not backing off just yet.”
While the road is far from over for Boucher, running is not the only thing she will remember about Plattsburgh.
“I think I will remember the friends I made here the most,” Boucher said. “Our team has a lot of different types of people that I’ve gotten to know.”
Email Kyle Espejo at firstname.lastname@example.org