The Plattsburgh State track and field team is heading into SUNYACs riding high this weekend.
At the RPI Capital District Classic last weekend, the women finished 4th out of ten teams, while the men finished 4th out of nine teams.
Head coach Nicholas Jones was quite pleased with his team’s last tune-up performance before SUNYACs.
“I was very happy,” Jones said. “We finally got some decent weather, and we had some good performances that built confidence and let us know that we’re ready for SUNYACs this weekend.”
It is getting a bit redundant to say at this point, but the women were led by senior Stephanie Boucher who once again broke the PSUC school record time of 2:12.91 in the 800-meter, a record she had set earlier this season. Jones is quite proud of the season Boucher is having, but also hopes that they can keep it going a little longer.
“It’s been very exciting to watch her,” Jones said. “She was co-women’s athlete of the year in our athletic department. We’re going to continue to work smart and plug along, and hopefully we’ll get her into nationals.”
Boucher’s newest 800-meter time moved her into the 14th slot for fastest time in all of Division III. Along with her, junior Lindsey Davenport qualified for SUNYACs in the 800-meter with her 10th place finish.
Freshmen Claire Deshaies and Elisabeth Plympton will both be heading to SUNYACs as well, with Deshaies qualifying in both the 400-meter and 200-meter, and Plympton qualifying in the 100-meter. Fellow freshman Taylor Canet ran a SUNYAC qualifying time of her own, taking third-place in the 400-meter hurdles.
The women also received some strong performances in the long distance events. Senior Lauren Perschetz nabbed her own qualifying time while finishing sixth in the 1500-meter, while sophomore Hannah Despres and Haley Mooney.
“My competitiveness just took over and I said to myself, ‘I want to win’.”
In field events, junior Courtney Wilson threw a SUNYAC qualifying mark in the javelin throw, while freshman Brianna Coon qualified in all three of the javelin, the shot put and the hammer throw.
The men saw help from a familiar face in senior Kyle Jones, who finished with a SUNYAC and ECAC qualifying time in the 400-meter, and a SUNYAC qualifying time in the 200-meter. In the 400-meter hurdles, senior Zach Grandy and junior Sobaan Ayub finished second and fourth respectively, with both hitting SUNYAC qualifying marks. Junior Stephen Schnalzer and sophomore Michael Campbell both hit SUNYAC qualifying marks in the 3000-meter steeplechase, finishing second and third, respectively.
For Campbell it was a pleasant way to end his season.
“I felt really good about the third place finish and hitting the SUNYAC mark in the steeplechase,” Campbell said. “Unfortunately, I’m not in the top 16 on the team so I won’t be going.”
In field events, the Cardinals had four SUNYAC qualifying times. Senior Eric Denny leaped to his with his third-place finish in the long jump, while his classmate Sean Baker qualified in both the long and triple jump. Freshman Jarret Pidgeon finished second in the pole vault for his qualifying mark.
Now the team’s focus switches to SUNYACs, and although Campbell won’t be going, he’s confident his teammates will do well without him.
“Everyone there is going to be fast, so I know we’ll see some fast times,” Campbell said. “They just need to go out there and get it, and have fun.”
O’Connell was also confident in her teammates, knowing that they’ll be running to possibly extend their season.
“We’re just going to go there and try our best and race as hard as we can because for some of us it might be the last time of the season,” O’Connell said.
PSUC’s next meet is the SUNYAC Championship, beginning May 5 at SUNY Cortland.
Coach Jones has some high expectations for his team this weekend.
“We hope to see some good performances and to improve our team point totals from last season,” Jones said. “Hopefully we’ll come out with some school records, and some first and second team all-SUNYAC (performances).”
Email Ben Watson at email@example.com