The Plattsburgh State track and field team had a busy March finishing up its indoor season while competing at the ECACs and nationals.
On March 3 and 4, the men grabbed the 21st spot out of 48 teams, while the women nabbed 9th out of 44.
Head Coach Nicholas Jones was quite pleased with his team’s performance on both sides at the ECACs.
“We definitely had good results on the women’s side, and the men did alright with a couple of the guys kind of banged up,” Jones said.
The men saw leadership from familiar faces.
Senior Eric Denny once again put up a solid performance in the heptathlon, finishing 5th, while senior Kyle Jones and sophomore Brian Fabian finished 11th and 15th in the 400 meters respectively.
Senior Ethan Vinson also continued his strong season, taking home the Cardinals’ top time at the meet while finishing 2nd in the 800 meters.
“We had some good performances with the group we had, and it was a good end to the season for a lot of people,” Vinson said. “It was a nice ending for all the hard work in indoor.”
On the women’s side, PSUC also had some help from some veterans, while also getting it from some newer sources.
Senior Lauren Perschetz finished 5th in the 3000 meters, while the quartet of freshmen Claire Deshaies and Casey Keane, and juniors Lindsey Davenport and venth-best time in the 4×400 meters.
The main event on the women’s side, though, was by far senior Stephanie Boucher.
Boucher finished in 1st place in the 500 meters at ECACs, but her times in her 800 meter runs throughout the season qualified her for the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships on March 10 and 11 hosted by North Central College in Naperville, Ill.
“All season I was watching the rankings list, knowing I’d need to be in the top 15 to go,” Boucher said. “Actually being there was crazy, and as it was happening it just felt surreal.”
Apparently it didn’t feel too surreal for Boucher to run as fast as she has all season, as she earned a 4th place finish in the nation in the 800 meters. Along with this, she became only the seventh woman in Cardinals’ history to earn U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-America honors.
The points Boucher scored as PSUC’s only representative also allowed the team to finish in a toe for 41st place out of 70 teams.
Her coach was happy to praise after the performance she put up.
“She was ranked 7th in the country going in,” Jones said. “But in the final she ended up taking 4th. If you can improve your placing and get a new personal record at nationals, that’s pretty good. She had a tremendous season.”
Now, the focus shifts to the outdoor season. The Cards are coming off of spring break, and their next meet is not until April 1, though, so now they get a bit of a break.
For Vinson, it’s all about using that time to keep in shape, and gear up for the outdoor season ahead.
“We try to race our best in outdoor, so indoor has kind of been a buildup for outdoor,” Vinson said. “So now we have more miles and workouts in our legs, and we’re just stronger and faster.”
Boucher is excited for the outdoor season, but isn’t wild about what the first few weeks in the open air might bring.
“It could be windy, or even forty degrees out and snowy,” Boucher said. “So it’s a lot different, but I love outdoor.”
PSUC’s next meet will be the Muhlenberg Invitational in Allentown, PA, April 1.
As the outdoor season looms, though, Jones is happy that his team gets a bit of a break before they have to really buckle down.
“The athletes definitely needed the spring break to unwind a bit and get away from structured practice, and to rest and mentally prepare for the outdoor season” Jones said. “Now they have the time to come back and train this week without having to worry about travelling on the weekend for a meet.”
Email Ben Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org