Track and field is a sport that builds upon itself. From the start of the outdoor season to ECACs and the national championships, the Plattsburgh State track and field teams build toward being the best they can be at the end of the season. They took another step toward that this past weekend at the SUNYAC championships.
The track and field teams have been waiting all season for good weather and a meet to fall on the same days. This happened at the SUNYAC championships, helping runners to some of their best showings of the season.
“We finally got the weather we had been anticipating the whole season,” head coach Nick Jones said. “People stepped up, and we scored a couple of points where we didn’t think we were going to score points, so it was a pretty good season.”
Jones said this meet gave runners the chance to improve and some took advantage.
On the men’s side, he highlighted the efforts of junior thrower Seth Allen and sophomore distance runner Ethan Vinson as the stand-out performances.
“Ethan Vinson ran very well in the 1500 — he finished fourth,” Jones said. “He put up a big personal best by five seconds. He came back — he hurt himself in the 1500, so he came back a little beat up. He gave a good effort in the 4 x (400), he finished the race.”
On the women’s side, the standout performances came from senior thrower Amanda Gadway and junior sprinter/jumper Jess Huber, who both finished first in two events each.
“Amanda Gadway pulled out a win in the hammer and the shot-put on her last throw, so that was amazing,” Jones said. “It was a school record in the hammer throw and a personal best for her, and her last throw in the shot-put was a personal best for her, very close to the school record.”
Huber said it was a good way for Gadway to go out in her final SUNYAC competition.
She said it was one of the best ways to end a senior season.
Huber was able to come in and get a first-place finish in both the 100 and 200 meter events. She said she thinks she performed at an above-average level, but not as well as she did in indoor.
“I did much better in indoor, but compared to last year, I did much better this indoor season, but that is because last year I only had two weeks of training before I started competition, so that plays into it,” Huber said. “This outdoor season, I am trying to get my performance level back up to where it was last year, but it is really difficult. I am still fighting nagging injuries that just won’t go away and try to take care of my body.”
Huber said she was able to keep up and finish in the top at SUNYACs because she prepared herself mentally to compete and was ready to face the tough competition.
The last two meets of the season are the Purple and Gold Last Chance meet at UAlbany and the ECAC meet two weekends from now. Jones said he hopes that the team is able to continue improving on their performances.
“Just continuing to improve performances and have some people qualify for ECACs in a couple more events, prep for ECACs and have Jess try to secure a spot in the national championship in the 100 and 200 meters,” Jones said. “We are just always trying to improve our marks, but this is our last chance this weekend at Albany to Qualify for ECACs and then ECACs will be the last chance to qualify for nationals, if the weather stays like it is, we should have good performances.”
Jones said that with the season coming to a close, the team is going to be losing some top competitors but will still be able to compete at a high level next season.
“We have improved from years past and we are losing a couple people on the women’s side — some important people — but we are also picking up some good people,” Jones said. “We are not really losing any of our top points scorers next year. We are definitely on an upward trend, and we are happy about that.”
Email Nick Topping at firstname.lastname@example.org