The SUNY Plattsburgh Cross Country team had a good start for the season as junior Andrew Horan and junior Jazz Roberts were both appointed as Prestosports runner of the week by the SUNYAC.
The Cardinals hosted the Cardinal Classic and Plattsburgh State Cross Country Invite at Rugar Woods for the past two weeks. Head cross country coach Andrew Krug said it was big for the team to open their season with home events before they hit the road.
Krug said being able to host two meets on back-to-back weekends was an exciting experience for the team. Having different audiences at both meets. The Cards get to experience cheers from family and friends that other hosts get to experience.
“Other hosts get to experience [cheers from family and friends] when we go to them, but having that right here and back-to-back weekends, we had different crowd each time, it’s so fun and exciting to have a home competition,” Krug said.
Both women’s and men’s team came in second of three teams in their season opener meet.
From the men’s team, junior Luke Groves and Horan were placed third and fifth going against Saint Lawrence and Castleton University with their personal-best time of 16:25.5 and 16:35.1, respectively.
Roberts finished first for the women’s team with the time of 19:29.8, about eight seconds ahead of the second-place finisher.
For the Plattsburgh State Cross Country Invite, the Cards came in first place among three teams for men’s cross country and second of three teams for women’s cross country.
Horan came in first for the men’s team, going against Clarkson University and SUNY Potsdam. After Horan, Groves was placed third with a time of 20:06.34, while junior Arthur Horan was placed fourth with a time of 20:34.28.
For the women’s team, Roberts claimed her second win in a row with the time of 18:58.27. Senior Makyla Barrett was honored prior to the start of the race as recognition of her contribution to SUNY Plattsburgh in her years on the cross country team.
“I’m hoping that I can run a [personal record], just to set a good tone for my last season, and I’m hoping we can do well in [the] SUNYAC championships and improve our standings,” Barrett said.
For freshman Madison Myers, it was a different experience coming into college and joining the women’s cross country team. Being the captain for her high school cross country team since sophomore year and six years of experience in the bag, she knows what she is doing and it was good for her to get to know her teammates.
“Being the only freshman at first was pretty scary, kind of daunting at first ‘cause I didn’t know what to expect,” Myers said. “When people start to move in, I got closer [to the team], I was like, ‘This is kind of nice. It’s different but a good different.’”
Krug said that pre-season was what the returners and coaching staff were looking forward to as they don’t have to worry about the pressure of going to classes. It was a chance for the team to train and bond.
“We did a camping trip, we went down to Twin Valleys for the night and that was actually right at the start of the week,” Krug said. “[We] had a campfire, got to run on some back roads and just have some fun together off-campus before we came back and got to work.”
Krug said with the returners are the strength for both teams. They are excited about the group of students joining the teams. Barrett said it was an adjustment to have new girls coming in late as they usually do bonding during pre-season, but the team has been really good.
Myers sees the team and coaches as a family. She said everyone gets closer as they are moving toward the same direction.
For this season, Krug is looking to improve the team’s SUNYAC and regional standings. The women’s team was placed fifth while the men’s team was placed eighth last season and Krug is looking to have a better showing in November when it really counts.
As there is no meet for the teams this week, Krug said the team will be focusing on training and improving fitness to prepare for Aldrich Invitational in Middlebury. This will be the first 6000-meter for the women’s team and first 8000-meter for the men’s team.