The Plattsburgh State track and field team has gotten off to a good start with a benchmark-setting performance at the Muhlenberg Invitational.
There was no team scoring, but head coach Nicholas Jones saw this as a positive, allowing the team to just focus on performing well.
“It’s a starting point, so kids can see where they’re at now,” Jones said. “It was a start to getting acclimated to the weather outside and competing outside.”
The men’s side saw strong performances from some several veterans, while also getting some help from newer faces.
Senior Kyle Jones followed his strong performances in the 400-meter from the indoor season with a third-place finish in the first outdoor 400-meter, while junior Stephen Schnalzer finished 9th in the 5000-meter. Junior Sobaan Ayub grabbed a fourth-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles, a feat that particularly impressed his coach.
“That was the first time that Sobaan has been over hurdles all the way around the track this season, due to the weather we had,” Jones said. “So that was a good start.”
Another standout was freshman Ralph Cordeau, who finished seventh behind Jones in the 400-meter. Coach Jones was very happy with his improvement from the indoor season.
“Cordeau had a shaky indoor season, but he started off strong with 51 and change (51.70 sec) in the 400-meter,” Jones said. “We’re really excited about that.”
Cordeau was also pleased with his performance, but joked that he’d like to get these results a bit earlier.
“Outdoor season is always better for me than indoor,” Cordeau said. “I generally do more poorly indoor. It’s kind of a tradition, a tradition I’d like to break though.”
The women’s side saw strong performances in several of the track events, while also getting some standout performances in the throwing events.
The Cardinals snagged a fifth-place finish in the 4×100-meter relay with the group of freshmen Claire Deshaies and Elisabeth Plympton, and juniors Ashlee Estes and Courtney Wilson finishing in 51.12 seconds. Deshaies also placed fifth in the 200-meter, and fourth in the 100-meter with Plympton finishing eighth behind her.
Wilson also nabbed two fourth-place finishes in the long-jump and triple-jump, while also getting eleventh in the javelin. Right behind her was freshman Brianna Coon, picking up twelfth place in the javelin on the first occasion ever throwing one.
“We haven’t been outside because of the weather, so it was my first time touching outdoor implements,” Coon said. “I think it went well considering.”
Aside from the javelin, Coon also finished sixth in the shot-put competition to round out a solid weekend.
PSUC’s next meet will be the Middlebury Invitational this Sunday.
Coon expressed excitement about getting outside again to keep the ball rolling on her season.
“Last meet was my first meet throwing javelin ever, so I’m excited to get back out there again,” Coon said.
Cordeau felt similarly, and was confident that his team won’t let up.
“The first weekend we were seeing where we were at,” Cordeau said. “Now, we’re going to turn up the heat, and see how much faster we can go.”
Jones is just happy that his team got off to a good start, and is confident that the team would improve as the weather improves, which will allow the team to get some better training in.
“Hopefully as we progress through the season we’ll get some better weather,” Jones said. “We’ll start to see some better performances as we get some more training in the events that are only outdoor under our belt.”
Email Ben Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org