The Plattsburgh State cross country team had their final tune-up before regionals with the SUNYAC Championships last weekend.
The men finished 7th out of 10 teams, while the women finished 5th out of 10 teams at the Geneseo hosted meet.
On the whole, Coach Andrew Krug was happy with both teams’ performances.
“Sixth place wasn’t that far away for the men, and third place was very close for the women,” Krug Said. “Fourth place was two points away, and third was seven points away (for the women). Fifth place matched our performance from last year, and the men have been stuck in eighth place for a few years so seventh was an improvement.”
The women’s side had strong showings that spanned the freshman to senior spectrum. Seniors Lauren Perschetz and Stephanie Boucher were the women’s top two finishers, while junior Haley Mooney, sophomores Hannah Despres and Andrea Cortina, and freshmen Elysha O’Connell and Kristina Watrobski also got in on the Cards’ scoring.
Perschetz had nothing but good things to say about her team’s performance.
“We went out and ran as hard as we could,” Perschetz said. “We got beat by a few points by a couple teams but we still ran as hard as we could, so I was happy with it.”
Perschetz had extra reason to celebrate after the race, as her fifth place overall finish earned her First-Team All-SUNYAC honors, while also earning her a spot in the SUNYAC Cross Country Hall of Fame.
“I was really excited, last year I was Third-Team All SUNYAC,” Perschetz said. “Coming into this season I knew it would be close whether or not I could get into the hall of fame or if I’d be a few spots away. I knew I had to go out paced well so I could finish the season strong.”
Krug was equally happy to see Perschetz get rewarded after a tremendous season.
“It’s another nice award for her to get to showcase how well she’s been running this year, while finishing her senior season off strong,” Krug said.
Perschetz also expressed happiness with being on such a successful team for her senior season, while also hoping she’s been something of a role model for the younger women on the team.
“It’s been exciting,” Perschetz said. “I remember back when I was a freshman we had one girl qualify for nationals, and I idolized her. Now that I’m here, I hope I’ve been able to have an impact on some of the other girls, and it’s been exciting to go out with such a strong team.”
On the men’s side, it was also the same few athletes finishing in scoring positions, but this time in a decidedly different order. For the first time this season, senior Ethan Vinson was not the men’s top finisher. Sophomore Matthew Jenkins took that mantle this week, with sophomore Jeriqho Gadway and Vinson taking the spots of second and third finishers. Juniors Stephen Schnalzer and Brian Abbey, and sophmores Adam Whitehead and John Weed also contributed to the scoring on the men’s side.
“I was really happy with the team’s performance,” Jenkins said. “We got one spot better than last year, breaking our 8th place “curse”, and I was happy with my personal performance because I set a personal record on the course.”
Krug was also happy to see Jenkins get rewarded after working hard all season.
“He’s a hard worker, he goes after it, and I’m sure there are bigger things to come from Matt Jenkins,” Krug said.
Krug was pleased with how spread out the finishers were on both sides, with freshmen through seniors chipping into the scoring on both sides.
“We have a nice mix,” Krug said. “It’s good to see we’re spread across the board, and that will only continue with our recruiting.”
PSUC’s next meet will be the NCAA Division III Atlantic Regional Championships hosted by Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J., on Saturday, Nov. 12.
“We’ve run Rowan before, so the course will be no surprise,” Krug said. “It’ll just be about giving it all we have with our strongest runners in the biggest race of the season.”
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