The Plattsburgh State track and field team had strong performances last week in the Cortland Classic Invitational. Junior Marissa Jones and freshman Victoria Whimple broke school records for the 400-meter dash and triple jump, respectively. Both of them were also awarded as State University of New York Athletic Conference as track athletes of the week.
“I was happy about it, it was pretty big jump,” Whimple said. “I just keep working and try to improve it.”
For the women’s 4×100-meter relay, the team of junior Elisabeth Plympton, Jones, sophomore Janyll Barber and Whimple came in first with the time of 49.35, which also set the school record. Junior Brianna Coon won the shot put with the mark of 12.72m. Barber won the 400-meter hurdles with the time of 1:05.59 and came in second of long jump with the mark of 5.32m.
Jones won the 400-meter dash with the time of 56.64 and Whimple won the triple jump with the mark of 11.99m. Track and field head coach Nick Jones said Marissa Jones is currently ranked sixth in the country and Whimple is ranked second.
For the men’s team, senior Brian Fabian came in second for the 400-meter dash with the time of 49.53 and finished in third place for 200-meter dash with the time of 22.29. Sophomore Brendon Van Vlack came in second in the steeplechase with the time of 10:11.02.
“We have had a tremendous season so far, so we are very happy with the way things are going,” Nick Jones said.
Nick Jones also mentioned that the team has been fortunate with the weather on its meet days, which proved to be advantageous for the team.
He said that the team is now preparing for the SUNYAC championship and that it presents a different challenge for each person.
For the athletes that have hit the minimum qualified standard and are ranked in the top 16 in SUNYAC, they are going to try to hit the qualifying mark this weekend and some are going to run some off-events to prepare for SUNYAC championship.
“It is kind of different for each individuals, depending on if they qualified for SUNYACs or not,” Nick Jones said. “Those athletes that have not qualified quite yet or are not close enough to qualified. They are resting up and peaking to run a [personal record] this weekend.”
Nick Jones said the team is in better shape now compared to indoor season and that he is hoping for good weather during the SUNYAC championship. Nick Jones hopes his team will perform as well as they did so far this season or better.
“[The team] definitely got stronger throughout the season, like everybody got a lot closer. But in the beginning, everybody was really supportive and people are still supportive throughout, which is definitely helpful,” Whimple said. “ Because sometimes it is very difficult to go through practices every day. It gets tiring and you shut down a little bit.”
Van Vlack also said the team dynamic is good and they try to show good work ethics to have the culture of working hard in the team.
“The group of people I train with keep each other accountable and support each other. That definitely helped me improve upon what I have been doing.” Vlack said.
The women’s team are now ranked 33rd in the country and ninth in the region, while the men’s team is ranked 28th in the region. Nick Jones hope that the team will move up the list more as they run the other events coming up.
“Our main focus all the time is doing as well as we can as a team at the SUNYAC championship, so we really prepare to, for the most part, peak our athletes there. It is a little different base on the athletes,” Nick Jones said, “We are just doing quality work at this point of time and resting so that we can be ready to go for our championships. ”