After competing in races for four weeks straight, the Plattsburgh State cross-country team will get a needed week off as it prepares for more important meets toward the end of their season.
Head coach Andrew Krug said the team can take advantage of the time off by putting in some quality training before their pre-regionals meet.
“Pre-regionals will be a great opportunity to see a lot of other teams that we don’t normally see the rest of the season.” said Krug “We’ll see a lot of western New York teams– they’ll be 36 teams all together, well over 300 runners at the race.”
Krug said the meet is going to be a opportunity for the younger members to get to used to the stage and the caliber of teams that are there.
With less than two months left in the season, Krug said that the Hamilton Invitational will be for runners who are the bubble of making the SUNYAC team. Beginning with the Connecticut College Invitational the team will start taking their top group of performers to meets.
“You can only race a maximum of 14 men and women at SUNYAC and a maximum of 7 men and women at Regionals,” Krug said.
“We will have a couple of alternates for each of those races — We have used those alternates in the past years — it’s an opportunity for someone who just misses out on the team and could be someone who needs to step up if a runner goes down with a injury.”
One thing that stood out to Krug was how the women’s team performed without one of their top performers, Emma Deshaies, last week.
“It was exciting to see that they could defeat New Paltz without her” Krug said. “Lauren [Perschetz] lead for most of the race that was a good experience and confidence booster for her.”
Junior Lauren Perschetz can tell this year’s team is different and has something the teams in her two previous years on the team were lacking. “Our team is looking really well this season.” said Perschetz “We have packs now that we are closer together It’s much easier to score points that way.”
Perschetz said not only does it help with scoring more but it also motivates them to run with a teammates. That’s how we train and do our workouts— we do morning runs, long runs, everything together as a team and now to be able to be together in races is fun.”
A recurring theme of the PSUC cross-country team this season is the contributions of their new members, especially the freshman. Krug couldn’t be happier with how things are going.
“It’s very comforting — this is something we talked about before the race, people stepping up when teammates are out or not having good races.” Krug said. “It’s nice to have that depth on your team where people can fill in those spots.”
Krug said that freshmen Hannah Despres, Jeriqho Gadway. Matt Jenkins, Greg Howard and Will Lindau stand out to him, and he expects them to continue to play key roles as the team gets further into the season.
“It’s a great sign — we know that a few of them are definitely running well and are very capable of breaking into our regional team.” Krug said. “I think it’s pushing others to make sure they’re training some more and taking care of the little details.”
On the men’s side, Krug said this year’s team is one of strongest teams he’s had since he became the head coach in 2012. “I’m excited to see what this team will be able to do at the end of this season but also leading into next season.” Krug said.
Freshman Matt Jenkins said the break between meets will be very important for races down the stretch of the season. “It lets your legs recover for a week, and you’ll feel fresher for the next race,” said Jenkins. “All the other meets are important but they don’t count for a championship.”
“At the end of the day, you can’t make the other team worse, you can only make your team better.” Laurent said. “So for now, we’re just going to keep trying to get better.”
Email David Luces at firstname.lastname@example.org