Cold and muddy conditions made for a tough outing for the Plattsburgh State cross country team in Fredonia for the SUNYAC championship last weekend. The women’s team placed fifth on Saturday, while themen’s team eighth. Geneseo once again took the conference title in both.
Junior Kristina Watrobski lead the women’s team, posting a 25:38.7 in the six-kilometer race en route to a 13th place finish and third-team all conference honors.
Senior Adam Whitehead was the first of the men to finish the eight-kilometer race for the Cardinals, crossing the line 37th overall with a time of 31:06.0.
“With the strength of our team, I think fifth place was excellent for us,” head coach Andrew Krug said of the women’s performance.
As for the men’s eighth place finish, the team had much higher expectations.
“I was disappointed with our finish,” Krug said. “Unfortunately, the results didn’t show what I think we’re capable of.”
Krug shied away from blaming the conditions of the course as the cause, although he admitted the rain and cold temperatures did little to help the runners. Fredonia’s course is a 2-kilometer loop ran three times by the women and four times by the men, according to Krug, which eventually turned the whole course into a mucky mess.
“It was pretty crazy. The conditions were less than ideal,” said senior William Lindau, the PSUC’s second runner to cross the finish line. “Definitely the muddiest, roughest cross country race I’ve ever had.”
“When you hear muddy, you don’t think drowning in mud,” sophomore Andrew Horan said.
As the cross country season nears its end, Krug thinks it has gone well so far. He praised his men’s team’s ability to work as a pack, acknowledging they don’t have a clearcut frontrunner.
Many of the women’s team members have stepped up during the season, he said, to replace some of the talent they lost last year.
“People that weren’t necessarily in the regional picture last year are now in it this year and running well,” Krug said of the women’s performance this season.
The PSUC cross country team will race again Saturday, Nov. 10 for the NCAA DIII All-Atlantic Regional Championship at Rowan College in New Jersey.
The women’s team hopes to improve off a good championship finish as the men seek a rebound from their disappointing outing last weekend.
Krug hopes the men’s team will go into the meet angry and be more aggressive off the line. The head coach lauded the competition they’ll face at regionals, claiming many are among the best teams in the country.
“We’re very hungry for redemption,” Lindau said. “No matter what the condition, I think this time we’ll be a little more prepared. We’re looking to beat a lot of the teams that beat us this past weekend.”
Email Ken Bates at firstname.lastname@example.org