The Plattsburgh State track and field team had strong performances at the SUNYAC championship. The women’s team placed third overall with a score of 123, the highest in the team’s history. Meanwhile, the men’s team placed seventh with a score of 29.
The team of junior Elisabeth Plympton, sophomore Janyll Barber, junior Taylor Canet, and senior Marissa Jones had a strong showing in the 4×400-meter relay with the time of 3:52.94, which broke the all-time meet record and school record. The women’s team is ranked 13th overall in the country.
Jones came in first for the 400-meter dash with the time of 57.22. Jones and Plympton placed second and third, respectively for the 200-meter dash with the time of 25.33 and 25.54. Barber placed second for 400-meter hurdles with the time of 1:03.17.
Junior Brianna Coon came in second in the shot put with the mark of 12.52m. Whimple came in third in the triple jump with the mark of 11.82m. Sophomore Desirae Blair came in seventh in the javelin with the mark of 32.10m.
“SUNYAC’s didn’t really go the way I expected it to, but I still have another shot to perform well at regionals.” Blair said. “At regionals, I’m expecting to place at least top five and hit a personal best to end my season on a strong note.”
For the men’s team, the team of sophomore Brenden Jung, sophomore Luke Groves, senior Andrew Horan and senior Brian Fabian came in third in the 4×400-meter relay with the time of 3:21.89, the fastest time the team ran this season. Fabian also came in fourth for the 400-meter dash with the time of 49.63.
“It was a really good meet all around. We have a lot of personal bests, a lot of young newcomers to the team and freshman really stepped up and performed when it counts, so we are excited to see what the future holds for those younger athletes,” track and field head coach Nick Jones said.
Nick Jones also said 18 athletes qualified for the regional championship, which will be held on May 15. He is expecting to have six athletes qualify for the national championship, something Nick Jones is proud of.
“My teammates have been producing amazing results from all their hard work and dedication from school records to personal bests” Blair said. “Overall, we had a great indoor and outdoor season.”
The team will be training to prepare for the regional championship. Nick Jones wants the team to have time to recover and run as best as they can in the regional championship. The training will vary depending on how many events the athletes performed in the SUNYAC championship.
“A lot of the work is done, and it’s just making sure people are healthy and freshening up after really going after at it this past weekend at the conference championship so that they are feeling ready to go and run really fast at the regional championship,” Nick Jones said.
Nick Jones said the team gets better each week, especially the women’s team, who have broken 11 school records this year.
“I believe it was the second outdoor meet where I ran [1:59.03 in the 800-meter dash] and last weekend I ran [1:55.69], so I am improving obviously and hopefully I can bring that improvement to the [4×800-meter relay] at regionals,” Groves said.
With the season coming to an end and seniors graduating, some team members will be leaving the team. Groves said it would be hard to replace Fabian but with freshman joining the team, he hopes that PSUC will continue to improve and move its way up.
“[For summer,] I am probably going to do 60 to 70 miles a week if I can do that,” Groves said. “I am coming in as a junior and usually that’s when people run their best year. I don’t want my best year to be junior year, but if I can make it my best year, I will do everything I can to do that. I want to come [into next season] as fit as possible.”
For the next season, the men’s team will have a lot of freshman join in and Nick Jones said he will help them transition and figure out the best ways the team will need them. He wants both the women’s and men’s team to keep improving and work their way up to the SUNYAC championship. He said that there are a lot of high quality and high caliber athletes on the team, and he wants to increase that and bring the men’s team up to finish top five just as the women’s team are consistently doing.
To the graduating athletes, Nick Jones is sad they are leaving.
“Remember your time as a Cardinal and all the great experiences that you’ve had,” Nick Jones said. “I’d be sad to see some of them go. Some of them were huge influences and they definitely are leaving this program at a higher level than they found it. They are leaving some big shoes to fill for the underclassmen.”