The Plattsburgh State track and field teams will be starting their season this weekend at Middlebury. The teams were originally scheduled for a meet at UAlbany last weekend, but it was cancelled because of the weather.
The first meet of the season was canceled due to the weather conditions. The weather is a factor in how outdoor is run and what runners can and can’t do during meets.
“When the temperature is really low, it can really cause some injuries that take a long time to recover from,” head coach Nick Jones said. “It is a little bit shorter season outdoor than it is indoor, so it is really important that you are smart about when you are racing, what events you are racing in and warming up properly, so it is pretty important to be aware that you can’t treat it the same as indoor.”
Senior sprinter/hurdler Bryanna Mustapich said it is easier to pull muscles when it is cold.
“Well if it’s cold, you have trouble keeping warm, especially for me because I am a sprinter,” Mustapich said. “So it is easier to pull muscles and you can’t go as fast.”
Junior sprinter Luke Potash said outdoors causes you to not be able to run as fast because you are battling the elements. He said Jones has been trying to get the team outside as much as possible to make sure they are ready for the first meet and the weather that comes with it.
Potash said the weather definitely affects the team.
“I remember Middlebury two years ago it was crazy wind, so that really just slowed everyone down and everyone was pretty gassed after that meet and obviously if it is snowing or raining, you are going to be miserable,” Potash said. “A lot of the times, you are just going to be sitting outside. You can’t really go inside anywhere, so it really takes its toll on you.”
With the extra week off, the team had the chance to get more prepared for the outdoor season. Jones said it gave the team a chance to train more.
“We trained a little bit harder. We ran even a hard workout on Saturday, so it was pretty good,” Jones said. “We needed to train before going right into outdoor, so I am pretty happy we got that opportunity.”
Mustapich said the extra time off gave the team another chance to get in more hard workouts that challenged their endurance.
“We usually do a pre-meet, which is an easy day. Instead we did another hard day of endurance and working out,” Mustapich said.
This time off also gave runners who competed in ECACs to have more time to prepare for the new season and transition from outdoor to indoor.
Junior sprinter Luke Potash said the runners who participated at ECACs really needed the extra week to prepare for outdoor.
“We had a week off, then we had training, but I don’t think we had as much training as we needed, so I think that helped us and also hurt us,” Potash said. “We now have less meets to qualify for SUNYACs and ECACs in outdoor.”
While the team was able to get in the extra work, it also limits its chances to qualify for the big meets — ECACs and SUNYACS, which are every runner’s goal.
This weekend, the Cardinals’ first meet will be at Middlebury this Friday at 1:30 p.m.
Potash said he is not expecting a lot from the first meet and wants to use it to get into the outdoor mindset.
“I don’t have super high hopes, it is just kind of the first meet of outdoor,” Potash said, “so getting back into it, transitioning back into outdoor, kind of a rust-buster I guess.”
The first meet of the season will give the team the chance to get ready to compete in more of the outdoor meets. It is also the first chance for athletes to start making their case to go to SUNYACs.
Jones said the players needs to be ready to face the elements this weekend, so they’ll be ready to compete.
“I’m just looking for them to do the right things because who knows, it could be rainy and not that great weather wise, but they still need to warm up properly and do the right things to compete well,” Jones said. “The weather is not supposed to be that great this weekend anywhere really, so they are really going to need to warm up properly, do the right things to stay warm and not get hurt and mentally prepare to run in not the greatest condition.”
Email Nick Topping at firstname.lastname@example.org