Sunday, May 19, 2024

Cardinals bring home hardware

Brexton Montville (left) and Jordan Williams (right) compete in the 100-meter dash May 3.



By Collin Bolebruch

All season long, track and field competitors fight to hit qualifying marks for the end-of-season championships. Now, finally on the conference stage, they’re pushing to win.

The Plattsburgh State outdoor track and field team brought home six medals during the SUNYAC Outdoor Championships on May 3 and 4, doubling last year’s total of three.

“We’re definitely pleased to walk away with some hardware and it’s just the result of serious hard work and discipline throughout the season,” Head Coach Andrew Krug said.

The Cardinals took gold in two events — Brexton Montville won the 100-meter dash, tying his program record at 10.58 seconds, and Grace Yarkosky placed first in the 800-meter run, recording a personal record of 2:18.55.

Charles Cypress won silver in the 200-meter dash, finishing at 21.75, an individual best.

Three bronze medals rounded out the weekend: Cypress in the 100 at 10.70, a personal record; Noah Bonesteel in the 1500-meter run at 3:54.03, a career-high mark; and Michaela Schaffer in the triple jump at 10.73 meters.

The men’s team finished fifth overall, scoring 45 points and the women’s teams placed sixth, scoring 35.

Three Cardinals earned the SUNYAC Elite 20 Award for their efforts in the classroom — Bonesteel, Faris Webber and Michael Brockway for each achieving a 4.0 GPA.

The SUNYACs are a unique opportunity for runners to approach the event tactically. This is the first time Plattsburgh saw most SUNYAC teams this season, and the competition was intense.

“This weekend is definitely about getting out there and just competing and worrying less about what time we have and more about place,” Krug said.



Montville, a graduate student, is staring the end of his college career in the eyes. He’s set to compete in the AARTFC Championships next week, and while he’s aiming for an NCAA-qualifying time, there’s no promise.

Montville won the athletic department’s Male Senior Achievement Award on Monday, May 6.

“It’s definitely bittersweet,” Montville said. “Hearing all that you’ve done makes you really put into play how far you’ve come since being a freshman.”

In Montville’s first SUNYAC Outdoor Championship event this season , the 4×100-meter relay, he suffered a misstep that disqualified his team.

Montville used that failure to push himself forward to succeed in the 100, Krug said. The motivation was enough to push him over the top by .05 seconds.

“Going into it, you just have to have confidence in yourself that you can achieve good things against higher quality competition,” Montville said.

Montville was just a part of a successful day for the future of the program.

“These last five years have been really important to me. I’ve gotten to meet a lot of great people,” Montville said. “It definitely feels like I’m leaving a family.”



Yarkosky joined the team this season with no experience on a team — running had only ever been a hobby for her.

Recruited to Plattsburgh to play hockey, Yarkosky has experience in the college postseason. She saw the ice last year in the Cardinals’ run to the Frozen Four.

“With the hockey team, having the reputation of making it to the playoffs and getting into the final four spot, I didn’t necessarily have that on the track side,” Yarkosky said.

During the hockey season, Yarkosky has teammates playing simultaneously whom she can rely on mid-game or between periods. In her new sport, her success in an event depends solely on her.

The rookie’s win validated for herself that she can be a serious competitor on the team.

“It was a really, really cool feeling knowing that I was able to score points for my team,” Yarkosky said. “I’m still trying to figure out how to race and how I fit in with the whole grand scheme of things. It was a little boost of self-confidence for sure, knowing I am able to compete and it’s not just like it’s a little side quest.”


The Cardinals qualified for 11 events at the AARTFC Championships to be held May 15 and 16: Yarkosky in the 800; Marissa LeDuc in the heptathlon; Montville in the 100 and 200; Cypress in the 100, 200 and 400-meter dash; Jordan Williams in the 100; Bonesteel in the 800 and 1500; and a team of Montville, Cypress, Williams and Justin Rushia in the 4×100.

The team said it is still unsure who will actually compete at regionals.

Plattsburgh will compete in the Farley Inter Regional hosted by Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, as a last-chance qualifier May 11. It has not been announced who will participate.

The Cardinals’ performance in SUNYACs bodes well for competition to come  — four of the five medalists are set to return next season.

“(The results were) really promising for us for the future,” Krug said.


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