The Plattsburgh State track and field team’s season is slowly coming to a close, and the Cardinals want to use all their upcoming meets to prepare for their championship season.

At the same time, the Cards are getting ready to say goodbye to a senior class that has meant a lot to the team, serving as mentors and leaders for the entire squad.

“The seniors just set an example,” junior Ethan Vinson said. “They have been here the longest, so they just kind of provide the ground work of what you need to do and what needs to be accomplished.”

During last weekend, the men’s and women’s teams traveled to Albany to compete in the UAlbany Spring Classic, where the Cards saw Division I competition. Even though PSUC is Division III, this did not prevent the Cards from seeing success.

The highlight of the day was the first place finish in the 4×400-meter relay by the PSUC team comprised of senior Luke Potash and juniors Kyle Jones, Eric Denny and Zach Grandy. The team won with a personal best time of 3:23.29 in which it qualified for the ECAC Championship.

In addition to his first place finish as part of the 4×400-meter relay, Jones also qualified in for the ECAC Championships in the 2×100-meter relay and the 400-meter run.

In other events, Vinson placed third in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 4:00.03 and fourth in 800-meter run with a time of 1:55.32, and both finishes resulted in SUNYAC qualifying times for the junior distance runner.

Although Vinson’s effort rewarded him with spots in the SUNYAC Championships, Vinson still felt like there was room for improvement.

“I didn’t run as fast as I would’ve liked,” Vinson said. “But I still think it’s a learning experience from everything, regardless if it’s a good performance or a bad performance.”

Junior Eric Denny, who scored personal best in the 110-meter hurdles with a SUNYAC qualifying time of 16.50, had similar feelings about his performance.

“My overall goal is to keep improving,” Denny said. “I’m never satisfied at what I’ve done. I know I can always do better. In the hurdles, I can run a whole lot faster than 16.5. I just always want to keep on improving and never peak.”

In field events, junior Paul Ford finished 12th in high jumps and 10th in triple jump, and he said the level of competition he faced off against at the meet, such as Northeastern, made him want to be successful.

“The Northeastern team has a lot of different teams, and they’re at another level,” Ford said. “So just seeing what they can do just kind of motivated me to work harder and helped me in my performance. What they did kind of rubbed off on me, so I jumped higher and jumped farther.”

While the men’s teams saw plenty of success in Albany, the women’s team did as well.

The biggest accomplishment for the Cards came during the 1,500-meter run, where senior Megan Schweizer, junior Lauren Perschetz and freshman Andrea Cortina achieved SUNYAC qualifying times.

A notable individual achievement came from sophomore Heather Chapman who tallied three SUNYAC qualifying marks. Chapman secured a personal best in the hammer throw as she accomplished a distance of 37.50 meters. Her other two qualifers came in discus and shot put.

As the Cards look to continue their success, they will travel to Troy, New York, this weekend to compete in the RPI Capital District Classic, and the team is confident.

“We’re headed in the right direction,” Denny said. “We’re always improving after every meet and practice. Everybody’s pushing each other at practice and trying to get everybody better, so I feel like, compared to when we started indoor to right now, we’re a lot better.”

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<a href="http://cardinalpointsonline.com/byline/trenee-barr/" rel="tag">Trenee Barr</a>