The Plattsburgh State cross country team heads into the Saratoga Invitational this weekend coming off of a strong performance against nationally ranked teams in the Purple Valley Classic.
The performance helped boost the women into the ninth spot in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Association NCAA Division III Women’s Cross Country Atlantic Regional Rankings, a feat that Krug was proud of.
“We belong where we are, and this weekend was a testament to that,” Krug said. “We’ll be looking to tackle a couple of teams that are just ahead of us this weekend in Saratoga.”
Both the men and women finished 15th out of 26 teams at the meet in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
“I see the Purple Valley Classic as one of the premier meets of the Division III regular season,” said head coach Andrew Krug. “We saw a lot of nationally and regionally ranked teams, so finishing 15th with mostly ranked teams ahead of us was a great finish.”
Both sides saw a mix of veterans and newer faces contribute to the team scoring.
The men had sophomore transfer Mitchell Marlow once again leading the way, with juniors Matt Jenkins and William Lindau finishing behind him. Freshmen brothers Arthur and Andrew Horan also got involved, finishing 21 seconds apart from each other.
The women saw senior Lindsey Davenport finish first, with sophomore Samantha Mosca, junior Hannah Despres and freshman Mikayla Anderson all coming later.
Krug was glad to see the spread of old and new as the team continues to gel.
“We work on that on a regular basis. With our training groups we have people doing workouts together, doing easy runs together,” Krug said. “We’re trying to stick with a pack mentality. It’s coming together nicely and I think the team will grow and improve even more as we go deeper into our season.”
Mosca reiterated her coach’s sentiment, speaking on how close the team has gotten en route to its regional ranking.
“We push each other every day in practice,” Mosca said. “In races, we try to stay as close to each other as possible and help each other out.”
Next up, the Cardinals will run in the Saratoga Invitational, hosted by RPI.
The meet, like the Purple Valley Classic, will feature regionally ranked teams. Krug is confident that the Cardinals will be up for the challenge.
“I think it’s a meet that we can do very well at,” Krug said. “We did very well there last year, and it’s a familiar course for kids who ran there in high school and returners on the team. We’re going into that course pretty confident.”
Arthur Horan, who saw success last weekend, is among those who are going into the meet with that sense of familiarity.
“SPAC is a good course, it’s one of my favorites from high school, so it should be good,” Horan said.
Only the women getting ranked has added in a small bit of friendly competition to the team. Horan spoke on that facet as well.
“We’re glad that they’re having success, but of course, we’d love to be better ranked than they are” Horan said.
After the meet this weekend, PSUC gets two weeks off before another.
Krug hopes that his team will utilize that time off but still wants his runners to put the effort in this weekend.
“We’ll take a break, and the runners will get to go home for Columbus Day and get to see family and friends,” Krug said. “They still have to train. Before that, I’m looking for some personal records and time improvements on that SPAC course.”
Email Ben Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org