Three races into the season, the Plattsburgh State cross country team will now face the first of many tests. The Cardinals next meet will be a transition for both the men’s and women’s team as they will jump to a 8k and 6k race, respectively.
Head coach Andrew Krug said the Saratoga Invitational was a great gage where the team held its own against stronger teams and he believes they can build on that momentum going into this weekend.
“I’m really looking forward to the pre SUNYAC meet and see how we match up against a few conference teams who have been strong in the past,” Krug said.
“It’s going to be a change but I feel like our work ethics and the competition so far have prepared us for this moment.”
Junior Ethan Vinson led the men’s team with a 11th place finish out of 302 runners.
A sign of encouragement for Krug was that four runners finished in the top 100.
“A couple of our guys who ran well weren’t satisfied so they are itching for more,” Krug said.
Freshman Jeriqho Gadway believes the more meets and practices the team has the better they will get.
“We try to push each other,” Gadway said. “You just have to push through and stay focused on the main goal, which is to do good in the race.”
Gadway said they have to work hard in previous races before you get to those important, longer races.
“To be honest, I like running longer distances,” Gadway said. “The longer the race, the better.”
Krug believes that the runners are all capable of running similar pases to one another, which helps them with their training. When the team runs similar, fast paces, they get a lower score, and a lower score gets a win for the team.”
Krug credits the ability of people being close together so that if someone has a bad race, somebody else is there is pick them up.”
Being able to work together and push each other in the race is super valuable,” Krug said.
Senior Emma Deshaies led the women’s team last Saturday with a 29th place finish and was recently named the SUNYAC Female Runner of the Week.
“She is a senior who works hard, and is definitely looking to be strong this season,” Krug said. “Just to get her name and the team’s name out there is great.”
Deshaies was just as pleased. “I was actually really surprised about that it was really cool to find out” I didn’t know until one of my teammates texted me” Deshaies laughed.
As a whole Deshaies thought the team did well to recover after a rough start.
“It was comforting to know that my teammates were close by Hannah really helped me, we pushed each other a lot in the race,” Deshaies said.
As the season progresses Deshaies believes that the team will become more comfortable and confident with the longer races.
She hopes the team will cut more time as they continue to gain experience and get more races under their belt.
“We want to have the No. 1 and seventh performer finish as close as possible,” Deshaies said. “If people can run together longer and faster that’s the ideal goal and try to move our group in the front of the pack.”
Looking past the pre-SUNYAC meet, Krug said it’ll be an eye-opener for those kids who are used to running 5 ks.
“It’s certainly an adjustment but also a learning experience for them.”
Krug said. “This is what this weekend is for, it’s a chance to run that distance and get used to it.
“I expect us to only improve from here.”
Email David Luces at firstname.lastname@example.org