The Plattsburgh State cross country team looks to have another strong season after keeping most of the team intact.
Both the men and women’s sides have many returning faces but have also brought in some new ones.
There are six freshmen women and nine freshmen men, along with several other transfer students that have now integrated into the team.
Members of the team return to campus a week earlier than everyone else, a factor in their schedule that head coach Andrew Krug said has helped give the new runners a chance to mesh with the older faces.
“Our preseason week helps a lot,” Krug said. “Not worrying about academics allows them to just train and get to know each other.”
Seniors Stephen Schnalzer and Lindsey Davenport, veterans of the team that will be looked upon to lead the new faces, both were happy with how their new teammates are establishing themselves within the team.
They commented on this fact before their first meet last Saturday.
“Everyone’s doing really well,” Schnalzer said. “The team is super accepting, and the freshmen are really excited to be here which makes things a whole lot easier.”
Davenport echoed his sentiments.
“There’s always an adjustment period of getting used to how we train and what we do differently here,” Davenport said. “With our time trial they showed that they’ve been adjusting well and did their summer training.”
Schnalzer also remarked upon embracing his role as a role model for the new team members.
“You have to make sure that everyone is doing what they’re supposed to be doing, rather than just worrying about yourself,” Schnalzer said. “You have to look out for everybody more than you maybe have in the past.”
The team got out to a strong start last weekend with the men taking second place out of four teams at the season opening Cardinal Classic and the women taking first out of four.
On the women’s side, some freshmen made their mark early.
Jasmine Roberts took first overall in the field of 56 runners, while Mikayla Anderson was the third Cardinal runner while finishing seventh overall.
Also in the mix was Davenport, who finished third overall and as PSUC’s second finisher. Sophomore Samantha Mosca finished 10th overall as the Cards’ fourth finisher, while freshman Jackie Corbett and juniors Hannah Despres and Andrea Cortina rounded out the scored runners for PSUC.
On the men’s side, two runners placed in the top 10.
Sophomore transfer Mitch Marlow took fourth overall in the race as the Cards’ first finisher, while junior Matt Jenkins took 10th place as the second finisher.
The other scoring runners included juniors William Lindau and John Weed and freshmen Andrew Horan, Timothy Lorenzen and Arthur Horan.
Now PSUC looks ahead to its next meet: the Potsdam Invitational this Saturday at SUNY Potsdam.
Krug has high hopes for his team in that meet but also for the season as a whole.
“We lost some power up front, so that’s going to affect how we do later on in the season,” Krug said. “With our new people, we certainly brought in some strength there. We’re still trying to improve on our depth and have our returners improve from where they were last year and move ahead.”
Email Ben Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org