The SUNY Plattsburgh cross country team competed in the Purple Valley Classic last Saturday in Williamstown, Massachusetts. In the classic hosted by  Williams College, the men’s team placed 13th out of 19 teams, registering 399 points. The women’s team left without a team score as some members of the team were unable to compete due to injuries.

For the women’s team, junior Jazz Roberts was the first Cardinal to cross the finishing line for the six-kilometer course with the time of 24:24.8. Jazz’s time placed her in 29th place out of 160 runners. Sophomore Rebecca Block and senior Mikayla Barrett were placed 98th and 150th with the time of 26:31.1 and 29:44.4, respectively.

Junior Andrew Horan placed 64th out of 228 runners. He was the first runner to finish the eight-kilometer course for Plattsburgh State, with the time of 28:11.7. Junior Luke Groves and junior Arthur Horan finished the course and placed 106th and 116th with the time of 29:00.1 and 29:08.1, respectively.

Head coach Andrew Krug said the team was faced with challenging weather and opponents. He also said the men’s team did not run as expected but still had a strong performance. The women’s team did not run the full team but showed good competition.

“[Purple Valley Classic] probably going to be our hardest course of the season. It was pretty hot out in the field—80 degrees, humidity, so it drained a lot of us,” Groves said. “It’s probably the hardest race we will do all season condition-wise and course-wise.”

Krug also said the Sept. 21 Aldrich Invitational prepared the team for last week’s meet, but made the team fatigue easier as they had back-to-back meets that were long-distance and had challenging weather.

Some Cardinals were not able to run due to their injuries and Krug believes it is better for the long term to not run now and prepare for the SUNYAC Conference.

“It hurts a little bit right now [not having team scores] but at the same time, it is about everyone improving their fitness and trying to get ready for those races later on,” Krug said.

Krug also said training varies from person to person and it is to provide what is best for the athletes given their injuries condition.

“[We] work and communicate with the trainers to ensure that we are progressing in an appropriate manner in terms of volume and intensity,” Krug said.

With no meet coming up this week, Groves said it allowed the team to work out hard this week and have an easier week leading up to the Pre-Atlantic Regional hosted by St. Lawrence University. He said the upcoming work out will be focusing on volume and distance to prepare for the meet.

Because the team will not travel this week, it will be able to work out and recover for the Pre-Atlantic Regional. He said as the team has competed in St. Lawrence before, they have some times to compare to.

Plattsburgh State will be seeing other SUNY schools and schools from the same region. Krug said the Pre-Atlantic Regional will help set the stage and get the team engaged to see where the team stands.

Groves said he is in good shape and is excited to see his result in the Pre-Atlantic Regional. His goal for the meet is in the low 27-minute range to a high of 26 minutes, and he wants to go even faster for the Connecticut College Invitational.

“I want to try to get the team up in a better position for the SUNYAC [Conference]. We’re working our way up. Every year that I’ve been here, we’ve been slowly working our way up,” Groves said.

Sophomore Aislyn McDonough was not able to attend Purple Valley Classic but she is expecting herself to help the team as this is the first season of her joining the team.

Groves said the team had a rough SUNYAC outing last year and with the freshman and returners this season, he believes the team will have a better result in the SUNYAC Conference.

McDonough believes she can drop her time as she figures out the distance and her pace. She is trying to stay healthy and happy to keep pushing with the team.

Krug said the team is now trying to improve fitness and keep training every day to prepare for November. He said every race and workout is helping the team get ready for the next race.

“Consistency, commitment and courage are the big ones in terms of training,” Krug said.

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