The SUNY Plattsburgh cross country team wrapped up its season after competing in the NCAA Division III Atlantic Regional Championships.
Three-time PrestoSports Women’s Cross Country Runner of the Week, junior Jazz Roberts, was disappointed about not being able to attend any of the championships due to her injury.
“Knowing that she was in really great shape, it’s heartbreaking for her ‘cause she worked really hard to get to where she was,” head coach Andrew Krug said.
It was frustrating for Roberts to see her teammates do well, knowing that she could have run along with the team.
Roberts said she cried a lot because she was passionate about cross country. She put in the effort, summer miles and trained hard throughout the season but ended up going nowhere with the training. It was disappointing for her, she said.
“I’m trying to reflect and say I did well up to that point, but it showed me that I should have worked smarter, and it just sucks seeing the way the season turned out. It just didn’t work out in my favor,” Roberts said.
However, she was proud of the team for putting their best foot forward even though it was a small team since the season started.
Due to her injury, Roberts was not able to run for a month and has been working on recovering from it. She said she is getting better and hopes she will fully recover before going into training for track and field.
“Cross country and track are such mental sports that if you tell yourself you’re slow, you’ll run slow. So I just try to keep the fast mentality,” Roberts said.
Roberts also said even though she didn’t reach some of her goals for the season, she still thinks it was a great season for her. She showed consistency and thought ran some good races this season.
“I wanted to break 23 minutes in the 6k, and I ran a 21.52 and that’s something to be proud of,” Roberts said.
Roberts also said Krug’s reassurance of her performance this season helped change her mentality about the season. She said it was important for her to know Krug is not upset with her and is proud of what she has achieved this season.
“Sometimes if you’re feeling so low, you can’t give that to yourself, and you need that reassurance from somebody else. So that was nice to hear from him,” Roberts said.
In the SUNYAC Championships, the men’s team ranked eighth out of nine teams and placed 25th out of 42 teams in the regional championships. The women’s team was ranked eighth out of 10 teams in SUNYAC championships and didn’t have a team score for regional championships as only three from the team qualified to compete.
Junior Luke Groves was the first Cardinal to cross the line for SUNYAC championships, with the time of 27:03.4, placed 30th out of 116 runners. However, he was unable to attend the regional championships as he was suffering from his injury from SUNYAC championships.
“We shared frustrations with the men’s team, knowing that we did not finish where we wanted to finish,” Krug said. “We had people who ran some good races, but we didn’t finish where we wanted to finish in the team standing.”
Junior Andrew Horan and junior Arthur Horan finished at 43rd and 44th, with the time of 27:31.4 and 27:31.5, respectively in the SUNYAC championships. They went on and placed 77th and 109th out of 299 runners with the time of 26:46.8 and 27:12.0, respectively in the regional championships.
For the women’s team, sophomore Rebecca Block was the first Cardinal to finish the race and placed 28th out of 90 runners with the time of 25:10.1. Sophomores Kristen Thomas and Aislyn McDonough placed 44th and 66th, with the time of 26:13.9 and 27:09.9, respectively.
Krug said he was happy about the performance of the women’s team with Roberts not able to run due to her injuries.
“We’re really trying set our team up for success in a long-term. It’s the bigger piece, knowing that Jazz was hurt. I think it made more sense to focus on those top in athletes that are ready to go in regionals and have some of the others start the transitioning to the track season ‘cause we still got two more seasons to go this year,” assistant coach Sarah Bechtel said.
Block went on to the regional championship and was the first Cardinal to cross the finish line and placed 93rd out of 274 runners with the time of 24:48.1. Thomas and McDonough were placed 163rd and 168th with the time of 26:17.0 and 26:18.9, respectively.
In the regional championship, Krug said five from the men’s team and two from the women’s team ran their personal record. Even though some of them did not break their record, Krug still saw great teamwork throughout the race.
Krug also said the course was the coldest and snowiest condition he has ever seen in his coaching career and was proud of how the team finished the race among the best in the region.
“Thank you for all your hard work, proud of the work that was done and very much looking forward to what is done in the next two upcoming [track] seasons,” Krug said to the team.