Monday, January 25, 2021

Many positives from SUNYACs

The Plattsburgh State track and field team competed in its indoor SUNYAC Championships.

The results on either side don’t initially jump out at you. The men finished 7th out of eight teams and the women finished 6th out of eight.

Head Coach Nicholas Jones thought that there was a lot of positives to take out of the weekend.
“Having only about half the amount of kids qualifying compared to some of the other schools there, we did pretty well,” Jones said.

The women’s side was kept afloat by some familiar faces, and a few new ones.

Senior Stephanie Boucher continued her dominant season, running her first ever SUNYAC title in the 800 meters with a time of 2:15.60, good enough to also snag an ECAC qualifier. Junior Lindsey Davenport also ran an ECAC qualifying time in that event, coming in 6th behind Boucher with a time of 2:21.95. Senior Lauren Perschetz finished 3rd in the mile run to qualify for ECACs as well. Davenport and Boucher were also two of the four runners who finished 6th in the 4×400 relay for an ECAC qualifying time in that event as well.

Junior Courtney Wilson, coming off of a strong performance last week, again grabbed a ECAC qualifying mark, this time in the long jump.
“We had a lot of good performances from a lot of people,” Wilson said. “I was happy with how I performed, getting some personal records, but I think that everyone worked really hard going into the meet, and got the results they wanted to.”

There were some good performances from some of the younger blood on the team, however. Along with Boucher and Davenport, freshmen Claire Deshaies and Casey Keane

rounded of the 4×400 team. Other strong freshmen performers included Kristina Watrobski, who finished 8th in the mile run behind Perschetz while qualifying for ECACs, and Elisabeth Plympton, who ran an ECAC qualifying time in the 60 meters.

On the men’s side there were also a lot of strong showings to celebrate about.

Senior Eric Denny finished second in the heptathlon while tying his own program record, set only a few weeks ago, of 4703 points. Seniors Ethan Vinson and Kyle Jones also performed well for the Cardinals. Vinson ran a 3rd place ECAC qualifying time in the 800 meters, while Jones also finished 3rd, but in the 400 meters. They also joined junior Sobaan Ayub and sophomore Brain Fabian as the quartet that ran a 2nd place finish in the 4×400 meter relay, again an ECAC qualifying time.

Sophomore Matt Jenkins, though he did not run an ECAC qualifying time, also ran a strong time in the 5000 meters. He finished in 15:47.41, his own personal record, and good for 10th place in the race. The big honor, though, came on Saturday, when Jenkins was awarded one of the inaugural SUNYAC Elite 20 awards. The award is shaped in the mold of the NCAA Elite 90 program, with the purpose of recognizing athletes who have reached near the top of the Conference with their athletic performance, while also performing well academically. With Jenkin’s having a cumulative 4.0 gpa, it’s pretty safe to say that he’s qualified.

“I was surprised to get the SUNYAC 20 award, I actually didn’t even know it existed,” Jenkins said. “I’m glad to be one of the first recipients, it was definitely a nice surprise.”

Barring some members of the team qualifying for nationals, this weekend’s ECAC Championships, hosted by Ithaca, will be the end of the line for PSUC’s indoor season.

While Jenkins himself isn’t going, he has great confidence in his teammates, and thinks they’ll do well.
“I wish the best of luck to all of them that are going,” Jenkins said. “I think they’ll do well, they’ve been training hard and I expect to see good things this weekend.

Wilson also seemed confident in the team, but implied that they aren’t going to be reinventing the wheel when it comes to preparing for the big meet this weekend.
“We’re just trying to keep spirits high,” Wilson said. “We just have to try the best that we can.”

For her coach, the mindset was a lot of the same
“We’re just going to try to run fast, and maybe get a couple of school records still,” Jones said. “But mostly just do well as a team, and see how well we can do as a team.”

Email Ben Watson at sports@cardinalpointsonline.com

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