Sunday, May 19, 2024

Ask an Athlete: Grace Yarkosky

Grace Yarkosky competed in both track and field and hockey this year.

 

By Collin Bolebruch

Grace Yarkosky, a Plattsburgh State women’s hockey player and nursing student, decided she didn’t have enough on her plate — so she joined the track & field team. 

Grace ran her first race March 30 — three weeks after the hockey season ended — and instantly became a star for the distance crew. The South Lyon, Michigan native will be one of two Cardinals to compete in the playoffs for two programs during the 2023-24 year.

Grace posted an AARTFC-qualifying time when she finished the 800-meter run in two minutes and 19.10 seconds April 20. She’ll next hit the track in the SUNYAC Championships, competing in the 800 and the 4×400-meter relay.

 

This question and answer was conducted with Grace over text April 30.

 

Question: What went behind your decision to join the T&F team? Do you have experience running? 

Answer: I chose to join the track and field team because running had became a side hobby of mine and I thought it would be fun to see what I could do in a competitive environment. Really the only running experience I had prior was hobby jogging and sprint conditioning for hockey, so I had and still have a lot of learning to do when it comes to the sport.

 

Q: Where do hockey and track overlap, skillset wise?

A: Hockey and track overlap in both the physical and mental aspects. Though you have to be physically conditioned for both, they also both require great mental strength, discipline, and focus in order to succeed. Being able to push through the pain, focus on the race, game plan and achieve the final goals alongside your teammates is so important in both sports. 

 

Q: Suicide drills on the ice or sprint drills on the track?

A: Suicide drills on the ice- I love to move fast on the track, but it’s such a unique feeling being in the rink, feeling the air move through your cage and your skates dig into the ice. You’ll inevitably be dog-tired by the end of either, but conditioning while skating is just a crazy (usually painful) thing I’ve always been able to have fun with.

 

Being on two teams gives you two entirely different social circles — how has that benefited you?

A: The social side of both hockey and track have been more fulfilling than I could have ever asked for. Hockey specifically has pushed me to connect with and learn from incredibly smart and strong women from all over the country. And while I was anxious to insert myself on a new team this semester, the track team has welcomed me with open arms, especially the distance crew. I’m incredibly thankful for how supportive and kind my teammates and coaches have been, and could not ask for a better group of people to train with everyday. The social circles are definitely very different, but they both positively contribute to my time here on campus.

 

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