The Plattsburgh State track and field team continued its season last weekend at the Middlebury Invitational, its fourth meet since returning from break.

The women came out strong, finishing 4th out of 11 teams, while the men struggled a bit comparatively, finishing 6th out of nine teams.

On the whole, Coach Nick Jones was happy with the team’s performance.

“We’ve had a lot of solid performances,” Jones said. “The first meet back was definitely a bit of a rust-buster, but people have started picking it up and we had a lot of good performances last weekend.”

On the women’s side, there were five Cardinal runners that had ECAC qualifying times in their events. Senior Stephanie Boucher continued her stellar season with a 1st place finish in the 1000 meters, while senior Lauren Perschetz, junior Haley Mooney and sophomore Hannah Despres all qualified in the 5000 meters with 5th, 9th, and 10th place finishes respectively. Freshman Elisabeth Plympton also stood out among the women.

Plympton had her own ECAC qualifying time while finishing the 60 meter dash in 7.97 seconds, good for 1st in the meet. She also finished 2nd in long jump and 6th in the 200 meters.

Jones was happy that newer runners like Plympton, are starting to hit their stride with the team.

“It feels pretty good,” Jones said. “They’re buying in to what we’re doing, and they’re seeing the success that comes from listening to their coaches.

Plympton herself was delighted with her accomplishments.

“I was pretty excited,” Plympton said. “It’s been my goal to get under eight seconds (in the 60 meter), so I’m really happy about that, although I’d still like to get it closer to a 6.75 (seconds).”

She better get used to awards then, because her time that she’d like to improve on was still good enough to earn her Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Corvias NCAA Division III North Women’s Track and Field Rookie of the Week honors.

On the men’s side, things were not quite as joyful, as there was only one ECAC qualifying time. Senior Eric Denny got 1st in the high jump, with a height mark of 1.93 meters.

Jones was still optimistic about the men’s side of things, however, especially Denny’s performance.

“We’ll definitely see some improvements in ECAC marks,” Jones said. “But that was a great performance by Eric Denny, he tied the meet record.”

Denny was also pleased with his great performance.

“I felt really good about that meet,” Denny said. “It was a solid tune-up for the next meet coming up.”

There is plenty to be optimistic about, as there were many other solid performances on both sides.

On the women’s side of things, Boucher, freshman Casey Keane, junior Lindsey Davenport, and freshman Taylor Canet combined to get third place in the 4×400 meter relay, and freshman Brianna Coon slotted into the third position in shot put.

For the men, the combination of sophomore Brian Fabian, freshman Will Grandy, junior Ben Wells, and senior Ethan Vinson came together for a 2nd place finish in their 4×400 meter relay, only missing the top spot by .02 seconds. Vinson also added a 6th place finish in the 800 meters and Senior Sean Baker vaulted himself to two 7th place finishes, jumping 6.00 meters in the long jump and 11.79 meters in the triple jump.

Now, PSUC looks ahead to this weekend’s meet in Ithaca. For Denny and Plympton that just means continuing the hard work and training that have gotten them this far.

“Everyone’s focused,” Denny said. “Nobody is messing around with their workouts.”

“We’re just trying stay healthy, get the workouts done and stay pumped and excited,” Plympton said.

The Cards’ next meet will be the Ithaca Bomber Invitational on Sunday, Feb. 4-5, at Ithaca College.

Jones is confident in his team’s work ethic, and knows they will be ready for this weekend’s meet.

“We’re doing a little tuning up, accounting for some injuries here and there,” Jones said. “But a lot of the work is already done, part of the training was what we accomplished (last weekend) at Middlebury. Right now we’re just trying to keep people healthy so they’ll be ready to go this weekend.”

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