By Nicholas Cousins
The SUNYAC playoffs have arrived for SUNY Plattsburgh’s track and field team. Both squads brought the speed down south over the weekend as there were multiple high-placing performances.
The women placed first in the 800m run with a time of 2:16.37, Michaela Schaffer placed fourth in the triple jump with a score of 10.70, Rebecca Christie placed fourth place and Libby Daly placed eighth in the high jump with individual scores of 1.52 and 1:42. Kaitlyn Bjelko placed fourth in the shot put with a score of 12.27. Jessica Landman, Marissa LeDuc, Aislyn McDonough and Morgan Thompson placed fifth in the 4×4 run with a time of 4:21.80. LeDuc placed fifth and Katie Berge placed ninth in pentathlons with respective scores of 2738 and 2033 points, and lastly, Virginia Lucchetti, Morgan Thompson, Natalia Castro and Sarah Smith placed fifth in the distance media relay with a time of 13:26.39.
McDonough also won the gold medal for Plattsburgh in the 800m run and won her first conference championship in the process.
The men placed second in the 60m run with a time of 7:02, Aidan Tous placed eighth in the shot put with a score of 12.91, Justin Kumrow placed seventh in the mile run with a time of 4:20.00, Noah Bonesteel placed seventh in the 3k run with a time of 8:47.15, Brexton Montville placed seventh in the 200m run with a score of 22.65 and Charles Cypress, Stephen Fleury, Nick Gelsomino and Logan Van Buren sixth place in the 4×4 run with a time of 3:35.54.
Montville also took the silver medal for Plattsburgh in the 60m run. What a way to represent Plattsburgh before Regionals.
Landman said competition in the SUNYACs is a feeling that you can’t find anywhere else.
“It felt great to lay everything out on the line and show what we’ve worked so hard for. Everyone is so supportive in the sport which makes you want to go harder to improve,” Landman said.
The senior runner, who joined the team last year, made a great leap this year where she recorded her best times in runs. Improving her running time by more than a minute, Landman was able to go from a time of 63-62 seconds to 62 overall in the 400m.
When it comes to anything in life, there is always room for improvement, even when at your highest peak. Montville was disappointed in his second place performance, but he still appreciated the trial.
“I’m grateful for the experience and ultimately tried my best, which is all the coaches ask for in any situation. In sports, you either win or lose and learn, and I’m definitely going to learn from this,” Montville said.
Montville, another senior runner, has been on the team since his first year and does not lack in confidence or discipline.
He knows he and his teammates must maintain focus for the AARTFC Championships coming up.
The SUNYAC competitions give Plattsburgh’s athletes a chance to go up against other athletes from conference opponents including Geneseo, Brockport, Cortland, Buffalo, Fredonia, Oswego and Oneonta. With Plattsburgh women placing sixth overall and Plattsburgh men placing seventh, it is no secret that the competition is real and intense.
Nevertheless, Head Coach Andrew Krug said he was pleased with his team’s performances and the overall outcomes of the event. He wants the team now to focus on making adjustments for regionals.
Krug is also thinking long- term with understanding the importance of continuing to build momentum for the outdoor season. The new season will include additional events, including javelin, hammer, discus and the steeplechase.
Year in and year out it is a goal to raise the team performance and continue to be sharper in the small details that are necessary to win against their conference rivals in future competitions. The goal of constant improvement is a point of emphasis for SUNY Plattsburgh, and it always has been.