The Plattsburgh State cross country team headed down to New Jersey last Saturday for the Division III Cross Country Atlantic Region Championships and came back from the muddy race with decent results.
At the Gloucester County Dream Park in Logan Township, New Jersey, the men finished 22nd out 37 while the women finished 17th out of 27.
Head coach Andrew Krug was pleased with his team’s compete level, but was looking for more from the results, particularly on the men’s side.
“I’m very pleased with the effort of our team,” Krug said. “Less thrilled with the overall team outcome and placing, but pretty happy with the effort. It certainly was an improvement from what I saw at SUNYACs.”
Senior Adam Whitehead led the men, finishing 95th overall out of 307 racers with a time of 28:16.2. Another Cardinal didn’t cross until sophomore Andrew Horan finished 123rd with a 28:34.6 time.
The men did beat Fredonia, a SUNYAC opponent that they finished behind in the conference race. Beating them was a goal going into regionals, and Krug was happy they were able to accomplish that.
“That was a positive outcome for Saturday,” Krug said. “Definitely mission accomplished there.”
Krug also lauded the all-around effort that brought the women their 17th place finish.
“We had a couple of ladies that really stepped up this season, and that certainly continued to show on Saturday at regionals,” Krug said. “It helped pick us up where maybe our stronger runners didn’t have the best race.”
The women were once again lead by junior Kristina Watrobski, who finished 57th out of 305 runners, with sophomore Jackie Corbett finishing 45 spots later at 102nd.
“We’re a much smaller team than we were last year, and it’s a much newer group than it was last year, so I think we just went in excited and ready to show how hard we’ve been working,” Watrobski said.
Junior Mikayla Barrett was the third to come across for PSUC, landing in the 112th spot. Freshman Rebecca Block was next at 144th followed by senior Jessie Smillie at 169th.
The weekend’s weather did throw a wrench in the team’s plans, as they had aimed to run the new course the day before but got rained out.
“It was pouring rain when we got there, so that definitely affected at least the women,” Krug said. “The women didn’t get over the whole course [before the race], and there was a little confusion.”
Watrobski said that it posed a challenge, but that the team didn’t let it be an excuse.
“It’s always a little more nerve wracking to not know the course ahead of time, but we had the same problem at SUNYACs.” Watrobski said. “We told ourselves, ‘We’ve had the same situation before, it’s going to work out fine.’”
With no runners making the Division III National Championships, the regional race marked the end of the cross country season.
“They’ve been a joy to coach,” Krug said. “We’ve been able to focus on the training aspect a little bit more. The culture is moving in a very positive direction. I’m very happy with how we concluded things on that front, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do in track and field now.”
With the Saints Holiday Relays in Canton approaching on Dec. 2, the transition to indoor track and field will start swiftly.
Watrobski espoused a team mindset of focus and unity as it moves into a new season.
“We all have the same goal of working hard in order to do well,” Watrobski said. “The focus now is just going to be shifting gears and getting ready to focus on our events while still doing well as a team.”
Email Ben Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org