Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Track strong before SUNYACs

The Plattsburgh State track and field teams’ seasons are coming down to the wire and the teams had one of their best meets of the season last weekend at the Capital District Classic in Troy.

Head coach Nick Jones said the team was prepared for this meet, and it showed.

“We finally got some nice weather and people bounced back from the unpleasant weather we have had the past couple of weekends, so they performed very well,” Jones said. “They knew it was their last opportunity to improve their marks and qualify for SUNYACs and they went out there and executed.”

The team had many strong performances from both the men’s and women’s teams and many came out and performed at their highest level of the season.

Jones highlighted sophomore distance runner Ethan Vinson and junior sprinter/hurdler Zach Grandy, who had a strong performance in the 400 hurdles and as a part of the men’s 4 x 100-meter relay team.

The men’s 4 x 100-meter was able to qualify for ECACs this week hitting the exact time needed to qualify with a time of 43.75 and finishing third in the event.

Junior sprinter Esa Jessop said the team was able to qualify because they worked on their hand-offs all week to make sure they had them down pat.

“We got those a lot better, fewer mistakes and we just made the exact time for ECACs,” Jessop said. “Hopefully we do a little better this weekend.”

Jones said the 4 x 100 was impressive and hand-offs were key.

“The 4 x (100) on the men’s side was tremendous, I have never seen the hand-offs, in my time here, be that good,” Jones said. “It was important for them to do that.”

On the women’s side, there were strong performances from junior thrower Stephanie Catalioto, senior thrower Amanda Gadway, the women in the 400 hurdles, freshman jumper Brooke Knight and freshman Lindsey Davenport.

Catalioto was two meters away from qualifying for ECACs in the discus and said she just needs to work on her release.

“It is all about my release,” Catalioto said.

“I have been working on it, and as soon as I get a good release, I will be able to do it because that is what I did the other meet and almost qualified. It is just a mental block.”

Davenport said this was a good race for the team because of the nice weather and a good race for her because she set a personal record in her event, the 1500-meter race.

Davenport said she didn’t have improvement in times at every race this season, but she was still happy with how she competed because the weather conditions at the races were not ideal running weather.

She also said this past weekend showed the entire team is improving at the right time and is ready to face the competition of SUNYACs.

Jessop said outdoor SUNYACs will see better races and better results than indoor because of the competitors involved.

Davenport said she is ready to compete and just hopes she can compete at her best.

“I hope to run either the 1500 or the 800 and hopefully run a new PR for this season, and hopefully the weather allows that, but I think I am peaking at the right time,” she said. “I think I just have to go in confident and excited to race and not get too nervous about it because it is time for all of our training to pay off.”

Jones said he hopes the team will be strong competitors in this meet.

“Hopefully we have a couple of conference champions. Hopefully people improve their marks in the conference and qualify for ECACs and hopefully we have a couple top-5 finishes,” Jones said. “Just looking to improve upon what we have had so far.”

Email Nick Topping at sports@cardinalpointsonline.com

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