Coming into the season feeling strong, the Plattsburgh State Cross Country team was able to showcase their skills in their first meet of the season.

The Cardinals kicked off the season on Saturday, September 3rd in the, “Cardinal Classic.” Many returning players, in addition to some fresh faces, hope to improve on last year’s season.

Head Coach Andrew Krug seemed pleased with the team’s effort in their first races. “We have a lot of people who haven’t ran a cross country race since last October or November, and this was a sign of good things to come.”

Seniors Ethan Vinson and Lauren Perschetz both finished third in their respective races, and both will be key components of leadership to this team this season.

“So far it’s been pretty good,” Perschetz said. “We came off of a really good preseason of meeting a lot of new freshmen. Our girls’ team is about half freshman this year, so it’s going to be an adjustment for them, but I think they all went out and raced their hardest.”

Coach Krug was pleased with the newcomers in the season opener. “So far, so good. I’m very happy with how they did today. Breaking the rust off and seeing what it’s like to run at the collegiate level and being competitive,” Krug said. “We just try to stick to the basics and getting good quality running in.”

Coming into the season, players have noticed different styles of training that coach Krug has implemented so far.

“Krug changed the training just a little bit, I think that’s for the best,” said Ethan Vinson, who was the first member of Plattsburgh to cross the finish line on Saturday.

As for Perschetz, she is aware of her role of being a captain and a senior and how it will affect her and her teammates.

“It’s weird being the captain and the leader, and a senior on the team. So, that has affected the way practice goes a little bit. Training wise, it’s been pretty much the same. I’ve increased my mileage a little and increased my long run, but everything’s pretty similar,” Perschetz said.

The first meet served as a way to wear off the rust from the offseason and get the team energized.

“As a team, we’re looking to get out of the basement. I think this is a really good year for our program,” Vinson said. “Overall, we saw a lot of people have good performances, and we improved a lot as a team. So that’s a positive note.”

The senior class and fellow returning runners will look to take the team by the reigns and catapult themselves to their best ability this season along with the newcomers as well.

“Obviously you have those returners looking to get stronger from the previous year, and the new faces seeing how they can make an impact. I saw that our returning men were definitely ready to race with our new runners,” Krug said. “Our women looked very good against some nationally and regionally ranked teams.”

When asked about his goals for the rest of the season, Krug mentioned how each team is different on both the men and women’s side, and how their main focus this year as a team will be to improve both SUNYAC rankings from years prior, which he deems possible due to the amount of collective talent on the roster.

PSUC’s next event is the Ron Stonitsch Invitational which will take place at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, tomorrow Sept. 10 at 11 a.m.

Email Cardinal Points at cp@cardinalpointsonline.com

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