Thursday, January 21, 2021

First-year Whimple strides at her own pace

From switching majors to breaking personal and school records for the women’s track and field team, Plattsburgh State freshman Victoria Whimple is starting her college experience at her own pace by setting herself apart.

Hailing from Castleton, New York, Whimple was recruited by the track and field coaches straight out of high school. After discussing prospective training plans and taking a tour of the campus, Whimple knew then that PSUC would become her home for the next four years. 

“The coaches were really outgoing toward me,” Whimple said. “I thought it [PSUC] would be a good fit.” 

Whimple started her running career in seventh grade on the modified team, worked her way up to varsity and is now breaking record after record for the Cardinals. 

“I was just always athletic as a kid,” Whimple said. “It was either track, softball or I don’t even know what else, but I wasn’t about to play softball. I was like, ‘Well, I might as well run. I feel like I could be OK at it.’” 

Whimple started her spring season off by beating the school’s 26-year-old triple jump record at the John Thomas Terrier Classic hosted at Boston University Jan. 25, earning herself SUNYAC Women’s Field Athlete of the Week. 

“I was nervous going in because I was about to be going up against like ivy league and Division I [teams], so I was like ‘I’ll just do my best.’”

Whimple said she knew it was good mark when she jumped it but didn’t actually know how far she had jumped until her coach told her after finals.

She finished in seventh place with a mark of 37’ 11.5,” breaking the 1993 record of 37’ 5”.

“Personally, I was happy about it,” Whimple said. “At the same time I was like ‘Ah, I wish I had jumped farther.’ I always want more.”

And jump farther she did. Whimple continued to focus on self-improvement week after week until it finally paid off last Friday at the All-Atlantic Region Track and Field Championships hosted by Ithaca College. 

Whimple surpassed her personal triple jump record with a mark of 39’ 5 3/4,” snagging the third farthest jump in NCAA Division III. 

Assistant track and field coach Sarah Bechtel said Whimple is a true competitor who works hard and is determined to better herself and her team.

“She’s the kind of athlete who is going to do everything you ask of her,” Bechtel said. “If anything, you’re trying to pull her back and make sure she doesn’t do too much work.”

PSUC junior track and field athlete Marissa Jones said Whimple is doing really well this season and the positive team chemistry can be attributed to how close all the athletes are.

“We’re all friends,” Jones said. “We’ll get dinner together. It’s a really good team dynamic this year” 

Although the self-improvement aspect is a significant driving force for track athletes, Whimple strives to make herself better no matter what she achieves for herself but also for her team. 

“Working on yourself, that’s your part,” Whimple said. “It’s what you have to do for the team, because if you don’t get better your team isn’t going to get better altogether.” 

Whimple is currently a nursing major but is planning on switching majors to pursue a career in physical training to better fit her goals.

“I always wanted to go into a health profession,” Whimple said. “And I don’t really want to be a nurse anymore actually… I just like helping people while focusing on health and fitness.” 

Although sports consume most of her time while she’s in school, Whimple loves to travel. She has traveled to Jamaica, The Bahamas and Costa Rica in the past. Whimple is interested in studying abroad with Australia as her dream destination.   

Despite breaking numerous records as a freshman, Whimple doesn’t let it go to her head, she just continues to work harder. 

“People keep saying things to me like, ‘Oh my gosh, you’re breaking records,’ and ‘You’re so young,’ and stuff, but like, I’ve hit certain marks but I know I can do more. I want to do more.” 

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