The Plattsburgh State indoor track and field team has plenty to be hopeful for heading into the St. Lawrence University Invitational on Feb. 16 after their past meet at the Boston University Valentine Invitational on Feb. 9 and 10. Many athletes exceeded their team and personal time records.

Senior Lindsay Davenport, sophomore Marissa Jones, freshman Janyll Barber and sophomore Taylor Canet combined for a total time of 4:05:18 in the women’s 4×400-meter relay, which was the second-best time in the SUNYAC conference and their best time of the season.

Freshman Michael Warchol ran a personal-best time of 1:56:34 in the men’s 800-meter, which was the fastest he’s ever run, indoor or outdoor. Sophomore Elisabeth Plympton, who was the only Division III athlete to qualify for the 60-meter dash final, ran a time of 7.78 seconds. She is currently ranked first in the SUNYAC conference in both the 60 and the 200-meter dash.

Although these achievements may prove that the Cardinals are prepared for their next meet at St. Lawrence University, many things can still be improved. Marissa Jones believes that one major aspect of her relay team still needs some work.

“Our handoffs are what we need to improve upon because we actually have not even done a four-by-two yet, so practicing handoffs is one thing, but racing them is totally different,” Marissa Jones said. “You’re going a totally different gear in a race than you are in a practice, so that would be what we should really focus on is getting handoffs down right.”

PSUC won’t see much SUNYAC competition at the St. Lawrence University Invitational, with SUNY Potsdam the being only other conference member participating in the meet. However, the Cardinals still are taking the meet seriously.

Head coach Nick Jones believes that the light nature of the St. Lawrence meet is a perfect opportunity for qualified athletes that are participating in the SUNYAC competition at the College at Brockport on Feb. 23 and 24 to polish their skills and techniques before the conference championships.

“For athletes that didn’t compete at [Boston University] this weekend that are going to SUNYACs, it’s a good tune-up for that meet,” Nick Jones said. “Basically, they need to go into it mentally thinking that they’re sharpening up and priming themselves for that meet the following weekend.”

Coach Nick Jones also believes that the Cards have a well-established team chemistry heading into the St. Lawrence University Invitational and that it will continue to grow as the team heads into the SUNYAC finals. He is a firm believer in team support contributing to individual and team success.

“As we continue to progress through the season with more meets, a lot of athletes are at their first year here, so they are bonding with the athletes on the team pretty well,” Nick Jones said. “I think that’s part of the reason they’ve been so successful.”

Always improving times and distances is a driving force behind the attitudes of athletes heading into the St. Lawrence University Invitational and the SUNYAC finals. Freshman Mike Hartlieb, a shot put and weight throw athlete, outlined his goal for the St. Lawrence meet.

“My thought going into St. Lawrence is to get the best mark I can to just bring up my rank in SUNYACs,” Hartlieb said.

All athletes on the PSUC’ track and field roster will follow the goal outlined by Hartlieb as they compete in St. Lawrence.

Email Nate Mundt at sports@cardinalpointsonline.com

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