Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Freshmen make impact in first meet

The Plattsburgh State track and field teams competed in their first meet of the season last Friday at Middlebury College. The team was able to start their season on a high note with contributions from both the upper and underclassmen on both the men’s and women’s sides.

Head coach Nick Jones said the team had more than enough time to prepare for the first meet of the season. The original first meet was canceled due to weather, giving the team more time to train and rest.

“They had two weekends where they didn’t get killed or didn’t get beat up with travel,” Jones said. “That should have saved them time to catch up on work that weekend.”

Jones said this was a good first meet for the team and hopes the team can improve from here.

“We had some good performances, some people could have done a little bit better, but I know it was the first meet and it’s early,” Jones said. “I wanted them to take advantage of the nice weather. We did luck out and really have nice weather on the Friday, and then I know we got home on Saturday and it started snowing.”

The meet was originally scheduled to take place on Saturday, but because of the expected poor weather conditions, it was moved to Friday. This gave the team the chance to run in decent weather.

This meet also showcased the newcomers that the Cardinals brought in this year.

Jones talked about how on the women’s side in the 400 hurdles, freshmen Alexis DiMarzo and Katie Kratovil were able to take fourth and sixth, respectively, in their first college action.

Jones said they were able to use this as a good starting point.

The team also received strong performances from two new throwers on the team, with Heather Chapman finishing fourth and freshman Brianna DiPresso finishing in 12th in the discus throw. Jones said the newcomers were able to work on their technique and figure out what they need to do better.

On the men’s side, the team saw good results from a lot of the recruits. Freshmen Ben Wells and Johnny Guercio both put in solid performances in the javelin throw.

Wells said it was a good start to the outdoor season.

“I didn’t do outstanding, but I didn’t run bad,” Wells said. “It was a good first meet, and I think it will lead up to more improvements for the next few meets.”

Wells competes during both the indoor and outdoor seasons, and he said the transition between the two is difficult because he has to get familiar with the outdoor tracks.

“Coming from indoor, the tracks are different, different distance, and I wasn’t used to the track yet,” Wells said. “I think that slowed down my time a little bit, so I want to get more used to the track and it will help me get more comfortable in my race, and that’s how my times will improve.”
Guercio said his first meet was a positive start to his college career.

“I just wanted to go out there and throw the best I could, and I did, so I mean I guess it was pretty cool,” Guercio said. “I definitely want to get back this week and get working, practice and keep getting better.”

Guercio said one of the hardest things about competing in his first college meet was trying to figure out where he needed to be and what he needed to do to prepare. He said he also was at a loss because his mentor, junior thrower Seth Allen, was not competing because he is working his way back from injury.

“I’m happy that this meet was a smaller one because I was nervous at first, I didn’t really know what I was going to be doing,” Guercio said. “Seth wasn’t with me, so I was kind of a little lost puppy, I guess.”

Guercio is hoping in the next race he is able to keep moving forward and improve on his solid first performance.

“I hope Seth comes, and hopefully we can have more competition out there,” Guercio said. “I love being pushed from both sides, people better than me, people coming up behind me. Either way, it just helps you propel yourself forward.”

The PSUC teams will be heading to Williamstown, Massachusetts, for the Dick Farley Invitational Saturday at 10 a.m.

Jones said he hopes the team can keep on improving from what they did in the first meet.

“I just want them to compete hard,” Jones said. “If the weather is rough, I still want them to compete hard. Maybe the time doesn’t reflect that they had a good race, but I want them to compete hard because who knows what the competition or what the weather is going to be like at SUNYACs in a couple of weeks.”

Email Nick Topping at

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