The Plattsburgh State track and field team is looking to start its outdoor season off right this weekend in Pennsylvania.
The Cardinals are set to run in their first meet in nearly a month this weekend in Allentown.
The beginning of outdoor season means the introduction of new events, not included in the indoor season.
Head coach Nicholas Jones is excited to see his team compete in those events.
“We have a couple events that they don’t contest indoors that we have a lot of strength in,” Jones said. “For example, last year in the steeple-chase, Lauren Perschetz set the school record and was about a second off of qualifying for nationals. Ethan Vinson does much better in the 800 (meters) outdoors because there aren’t as many tight turns.”
Senior Kyle Jones (no relation), like Vinson, is among the group of runners on the team that is participating in new events, but also finds some of his other events easier on an outdoor track than an indoor track.
“I like it way better,” Jones said. “When you’re a big, tall dude, it’s so much harder with the tight turns. On an outdoor track I have the 100 meter straightaway that I can really open up on.”
Junior Courtney Wilson will continue to compete in her usual events of triple jump and long jump, but will also add another. One of her events, the javelin, also isn’t competed indoors, so the switch between seasons involves a little extra training.
“Now I’m focusing more on agility events, but also will be doing heavier weight strength training to essentially also become a thrower,” Wilson said.
Junior Sobaan Ayub is also among the group of runners on the team whose primary event isn’t included in the indoor season, so he is ready for Saturday to finally come.
“I’m a 400 meter hurdler, which they don’t have in indoor,” Ayub said. “Once we get to outdoor we start hurdling, which has been my main focus
throughout my track career, so I’m super excited for outdoor.”
That’s not to say Ayub hasn’t been busy while the team has had a bit of a break from meets. He was the main organizer behind the team’s car wash fundraising event last weekend.
“We started organizing it about a month ago, and everybody started getting really excited about it,” Ayub said. “We raised $867, which we donated to the town of Plattsburgh, and will be used to start a youth track program in the summer here.”
Just about everyone on the team can agree that they’re ready for this winter to be over, and to get back put on the track.
“Everybody is just getting a little drained from being on the indoor track,” Jones said
Wilson and Ayub agreed.
“We’re getting pumped to be outside,” Wilson said. “I think outdoor is something we all favor more than indoor, it gives us more room to show what we’re capable of.”
“Our indoor season and winters around here are so long,” Ayub said. “Everybody’s excited to get outside and get some fresh air.”
PSUC will run Saturday at the Muhlenberg Invitational in Allentown Pennsylvania.
Coach Jones is ready for his team to break into the outdoor season and set a standard.
“We’re going a bit further south to catch a little bit better of weather,” Jones said. “This meet is mostly about getting a base-mark, and getting acclimated to competing outside, because we have snow on the ground here. We just need to get a mark in early, and progress from there.”
Email Ben Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org