In a race with Division I and II schools, the Plattsburgh State men’s and women’s cross-country team competed with heart.
The race was filled with schools that were above PSUC’s level, but the Cardinals were able to run keep pace with the tough competition with teams competing from many different places.
“The fields were stacked, we had divisionally- and nationally-ranked teams,” head coach Andrew Krug said. “We had Siena, which is Division I, and St. Rose, which is Division II was there, so we were in very strong company there, and I think our team did extremely well.”
Facing highly competitive teams, PSUC was able to come out and show their stuff, with the men finishing 11th and the women achieving 10th.
The men’s team, however, was short-handed, with sophomore Ethan Vinson having to back out of the race early due to injury.
“Unfortunately, Ethan Vinson got caught up early in the race with a big pack and where the trail narrows down, he ended up kind of pushed, shoved on the ground and he ended up dropping out of the race,” Krug said. “He got cut up on the knee with some spikes, so that was unfortunate for him.”
Last year, Vinson was the top runner for the men’s cross-country team, finishing near the top of all the races he competed in.
The rest of the men were able to pick it up after their lead runner was injured. Nathan Doyle, running in his first 6K, was one of three freshmen to finish in the top 30 in the race. He finished the race in 29th place with a time of 19:31.
Krug said Doyle competed well in the first 6K of his college career, and said he was trying to learn the longer course.
Helping the Cards to a strong finish was junior Zach Rose, who finished in second for PSUC and 59th overall with a time of 20:01, and fellow junior Jason Flach, who finished third for the Cards and 76th overall with a time of 20:11.
Rose said that everything is a building experience and that people are starting to hit their stride.
Krug said the men still performed well, even without Vinson.
Doyle was able to come out and impress performance in his second colligiate meet after not competing in the Cardinal Classic last weekend.
The women’s top finisher was Katie Ehmann with an 18th-place finish and a time of 18:09. Ehmann said she felt she could have given more in the race.
“I think I did well. It was one of those races where you’re running and you feel like you’re running really fast and just have more to give during the race,” Ehmann said. “I definitely raced tough. It was very tough competition and compared to the teams that we were up against, I feel I performed very well.”
Freshman Hayley Mooney was the second place finisher for the Cards, finishing in 42nd place with a time of 18:46.
The next race for the Cards is the SLU Hoffman Invitational in Canton at 11 a.m on Saturday.
Ehmann said that for the upcoming race she needs to work on her stamina. The women will be competing in their first 6K of the season.
“I think just improving on keeping myself strong toward the end of the race,” Ehmann said. “Pushing everything I got till the finish line will definitely be something I need to improve on.”
Rose said with the race being the first 8K of the season, the new guys will learn what it is like and the returners will get back in the swing of things.
“It’s the first 8K of the season,” Rose said. “So it’s going to be tough for everyone.”
Email Nick Topping at email@example.com.