The Plattsburgh State track and field teams competed at the SUNYAC championships this past weekend and head coach Nicholas Jones was happy with how the team performed.
“I think we have a young team and we performed pretty well,” Jones said.
On the men’s side, the top performers were freshman Ben Wells, junior Luke Potash, freshman Ray Adekoya and freshman Stephen Schnalezer.
Wells competed in the 400 meter dash at the event and was able to achieve a seventh place finish with a time of 51.54 seconds. Jones said it was good for Wells to be able to compete in his first SUNYAC championship and be able to get the experience.
Another top performer was Potash, who didn’t think he performed as well as he wanted to.
“I still got sixth place and on the podium, so that was pretty cool,” Potash said. “I did better than last year, so always improving.”
Jones said they gave Schnalezer a chance to run in the mile at the SUNYACS and he was able to run for a personal best.
“He is somebody that we thought was going to be very valuable to use in the future and we thought to give him an opportunity and he performed well,” Jones said. “That was something that, with an opportunity like that, they come through and that was good.”
On the women’s side, junior sprinter/jumper Jess Huber was able to break her record in the 60 yard dash twice and break her record in the 200 meter dash, winning both events at the meet. She also competed in the long jump, achieving a fifth place finish.
Also finishing in good standing for the Cardinals were freshmen jumpers Brooke Knight and Shawna Thornton. Knight was able to finish in seventh place in the long and triple jump and Thornton placed 17th in the long jump and fifth in the triple jump. They both were able to qualify for the ECAC meet in the triple jump.
To prepare for the ECACs the team’s main thing, Jones said, is to be well rested and avoid getting sick because of the change of weather.
“You always see sicknesses and long trips with everybody traveling on the bus, I’m feeling a little groggy from this weekend,” Jones said. “I am sure people are a little bit banged up, but they need to relax and recover and not stress out too much.”
At the ECACs, the runners will be limited to run in only one event to make sure they can focus strictly on that and put all they have into their race.
Potash will be competing in the 4×400 meter dash alongside Wells, junior Esa Jessop and freshman Zach Grandy. Grandy will be replacing sophomore Ethan Vinson in the 4×4 to make sure Vinson only runs in one event.
Potash said he hopes that they are able to come close to or surpass their record setting pace from earlier in the season.
“I hope we can come close to or beat our season record, which was at Boston University and is the fastest we have seen in at least a couple of years,” Potash said. “I think it is going to be more doable because nobody else is running anything else, so we are all going to be fresh. We are going to go into it fresh and with a positive mindset.”
This year at the ECACs will be different for PSUC because some teams are leaving the conference, leaving the meet with less teams then past years.
“There are a lot of schools that aren’t going anymore,” Jones said. “I don’t know if it is just because of cost, it is probably just the cost of being in the conference, so I mean it will be a little different.”
Jones said that having less teams might make it more difficult for the runners to score at the event.
Jones said he expects the team to compete well at the event and place high.
“I think Jess, this is her second time this season on a banked track, so she will perform pretty well if she is healthy,” Jones said. “I am just looking for the athletes we have, they are not going to be loaded up, they are just going to look to do well.”
Email Nick Topping at firstname.lastname@example.org