After a long, hot summer of hard work and training, the Plattsburgh State cross-country teams are finally ready to begin the fall 2014 season.
The men’s team concluded last season with an eighth-place finish in the SUNYAC Championships, and head coach Andrew Krug said the team is hoping to improve from that.
“As long as our athletes stay healthy, I think that we will be in good shape,” Krug said. “We have a bunch of kids that are talented and who want to work hard.”
A handful of newcomers have joined PSUC for the upcoming season, and Krug is looking forward to seeing what they can do.
Freshman Nathan Doyle has already begun to make a name for himself after competing at the SUNY Canton Kangaroo Invitational Saturday morning.
Doyle posted an impressive first-place finish with a time of 16:48 in his first collegiate race.
Freshman Brian Kennedy also displayed an impressive collegiate debut with a fifth-place finish in the 5K race with a time of 17:34.
Ethan Vinson rejoins PSUC for his sophomore year after having an overall phenomenal debut season, eventually emerging as the Cards’ No. 1 finisher in most of the team’s races.
Vinson said this year’s team is better and stronger than last season, which will definitely help the team to be more of a tough competitor.
The women’s cross-country team finished off the 2013 season with a seventh-place finish in the SUNYAC Championships and are looking to build off of that.
“I see us improving on that with a deeper team this year,” Krug said.
Senior Katie Ehmann said the addition of eight freshmen to the women’s side will definitely play a factor in the team’s success.
Freshman Jessie Smillie made her debut Saturday, posting the sole top-10 finish of the day for PSUC. Smillie finished the race in 10th place with a time of 23:27.
“I think that everyone adds something to the team,” Ehmann said. “I’m just excited to see as a whole how this year goes with all of the new faces to the team.”
Ehmann will lace up her shoes for the final cross-country season of her collegiate career as she hopes to pick up right where she left off last season.
“I know that she is looking to go out with a bang, and she has come a long way since she first came here,” Krug said.
The Cards will compete in five regular season meets as of now, which includes the Cardinal Classic, RPI Saratoga Invitational, SLU Hoffman Invitational, Hamilton College Invitational and the UAlbany Invitational.
Krug is looking forward to his team competing in the Cardinal Classic because it is PSUC’s lone home match of the year.
This year’s Cardinal Classic will also feature a dedication ceremony for the record boards.
“This is a great chance for our student-athletes to see the history of our program and how to build tradition,” Krug said.
The locations of the competitions are closer to PSUC than in the past, which Vinson said he believes is a plus.
However, the level of competition will be tougher than in the past.
The PSUC team will compete in the Cardinal Classic Saturday at 11 a.m.
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