The Plattsburgh State track and field team’s chemistry continued to grow as it looks set new personal and team records in its spring 2019 kickoff.
The women placed second out of eight teams at the Saints Holidays Relay hosted by St. Lawrence Dec. 2, first out of five at the Middlebury Winter Classic Jan. 12 and fifth out of six at the Middlebury Invitational.
The men placed fourth out of seven at the Saint Holidays Relay, third out of five at the Middlebury Winter Classic and fifth of seven at the Middlebury Invitational.
Freshman Victoria Whimple broke the 26-year-old triple jump record at the John Thomas Terrier Classic hosted at Boston University and earned SUNYAC Women’s Field Athlete of the Week.
Assistant track and field coach Sarah Bechtel said that Whimple is a true competitor whose hard work and determination is her driving force.
“She’s the kind of athlete who is going to do everything you ask of her,” Bechtel said. “If anything, you’re trying to pull her back and make sure she doesn’t do too much work.”
Whimple also broke the 60-meter hurdle school record at the Ithaca Bomber Invitational with a time of 9.62, four milliseconds faster than the 2013 record.
Whimple is proud of all of her success this early in the season, but still has her sights set on self-improvement and pushing her limits.
“Personally, I was happy about it,” Whimple said. “At the same time I was like ‘Ah, I wish I had jumped farther.’”
Junior Marissa Jones won the 500-meter, crossing the finish line at 1:20.99, winning by 0.37 of a second.
Sophomore Luke Groves also set a personal record at Ithaca in the 800-meter, running a SUNYAC qualifying time of 2:00.56.
The men’s 4×400-meter relay team including senior Brian Fabian, sophomore Andrew Horan and senior Adam Whitehead placed sixth and set a season best of 3:30:07.
“I’m just happy that the training pushed me to finally run two (minutes) flat,” Groves said. “I want to go sub-two obviously, but, you know, two flat is a good time.”
Bechtel said that the teams have been doing a good job of combining their cultures and bonding as a group.
In terms of season-long goals, the women are aiming for top three in the SUNYAC, while the men are going for a place in the top seven.
“In a sport like ours, it’s not necessarily trying to win every single weekend,” Bechtel said. “It’s making sure that we’re prepped to do our best when it counts.”