The Plattsburgh State cross country team heads into Columbus Day weekend riding high after strong performances from the men and women last weekend at RPI.
The men took 4th place out of 16 teams at the Saratoga Invitational, while the women took 3rd out of 17.
“I think this was our best combined men’s and women’s team effort in several years,” said head coach Andrew Krug of his team’s performance at the meet. “I’m just ecstatic about the results from this past weekend.”
The results saw the women once again jump up a few spots in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) NCAA Division III Women’s Cross Country Atlantic Regional Rankings, moving from ninth to 10th in the region.
The meet saw a familiar core of women finish in Plattsburgh’s scoring positions.
Senior Lindsey Davenport was first to cross the finish line for the Cardinals, taking 10th overall out of 221 runners. She was followed by freshman Jasmine Roberts, who took 12th overall, junior Hannah Despres, who nabbed 22nd, and sophomore Samantha Mosca, who came in 29th. Freshmen Jakie Corbett and Mikayla Anderson, and junior Andrea Cortina rounded out PSUC’s top 7, finishing 35th, 39th and 66th, respectively.
“It feels great,” Davenport said. “We had six girls under 19, which was amazing. Everyone was happy when they crossed the finish line, and then rankings came out and made everyone that much happier.”
This was the third meet in a row that Davenport, Despres, Cortina, Anderson and Mosca cracked the Cards’ top seven, with Corbett and Roberts also popping up there in several meets this season.
Davenport expanded on just how much that budding chemistry has meant to the team as the season has progressed.
“We really try to pack up and find each other during the race,” Davenport said. “It helps to see your teammates running their hardest and know that you need to just keep pushing through.”
The men’s side saw a similar pattern continue as well.
Sophomore Mitch Marlow led the way, as he has in every meet so far for PSUC, taking 18th overall out of 235 runners. Behind him came juniors Matt Jenkins and Stephen Schnalzer in 24th and 27th place, respectively.
Rounding out the top seven on the men’s side were freshmen brothers Andrew and Arthur Horan, and juniors William Lindau and John Weed.
This was the third meet in a row that Marlow, Schnalzer, the Horan brothers, Lindau and Jenkins have placed in the team’s top seven, with Weed also finishing there in meets earlier in the season.
Marlow expanded on how running as a group is simply just part of the game plan.
“Obviously we care more about the team’s overall finish than personal results,” Marlow said. “If Steve (Schnalzer) or Jenkins finishes ahead of me, I’d be just as happy because that would mean we’d still be placing ahead of other teams.”
The consistency on both sides has certainly made things easier for Krug.
“It’s nice to have a deeper squad where people can kind of finish inter-changeably,” Krug said. “If someone isn’t having a great race, someone else fills in, and that’s when a team can really do a lot of damage.”
Now the team gets some time off, with Columbus Day break coming this weekend. Davenport and Marlow are both looking forward to getting a little rest.
“It’ll be really nice to get a little break,” Marlow said. “We need a little break from school and running every once in a while, and I think when we come back refreshed, we’ll be looking pretty good.”
“It’ll just be nice for everyone to refresh when they’re home and then come back and finish off the season,” Davenport said.
The Cardinals’ next meet will be the Connecticut College Invitational in New London, Connecticut on Oct. 14. Krug hopes that the weekend off will be a nice break, but wants his team to stay focused on the bigger picture as well.
“The weekend will be refreshing for them, but they still have work to do,” Krug said. “We’re looking to run fast and well at Connecticut College the next Saturday.”
Email Ben Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org