When Ethan Vinson and Lauren Perschetz were running for Plattsburgh, they never imagined they’d one day coach their team. When their call came to volunteer as assistant coaches, though, they didn’t shy away.
“I didn’t actually think I’d become a college coach,” Perschetz said. “I don’t know if I’d make it a career, but with this team, I love it.”
“It wasn’t something I’d always thought about, but when the chance came up to keep helping the team with what we had been building the last few years, I had to take it,” Vinson said.
Vinson and Perschetz were both integral parts of the Plattsburgh State cross country and track and field teams, with both of them consistently finishing near or at the top of the team by their senior years.
Head coach Andrew Krug has been lucky enough to watch them since the beginning.
“I recruited both Lauren and Ethan out of high school,” Krug said. “They were a part of my first recruitment class on the distance side.”
Both Vinson and Perschetz have fond memories of their first experience of Plattsburgh.
“When I came on my recruiting trip, the whole town felt comfortable to me, and I made some good friends with the girls on the team,” Perschetz said. “Plattsburgh also matched up with a lot of the majors I was interested in, so it was an easy choice.”
Vinson expressed how welcoming the city felt his first time here.
“When I came on my recruitment trip, I felt comfortable here, I felt like I was home,” Vinson said. “I liked Krug and what he had to say, so I bought into it all.”
The experience of watching their progression has been something to cherish for Krug.
“Ethan was a strong, mature high school athlete, and to see that help him as he came into his own in track and field and cross country was special,” Krug said. “Lauren’s work ethic improved every year before she eventually made it to the NCAA (National) tournament her senior year. To see their growth through those four years was something really special.”
The pair’s time at PSUC was enjoyable from the beginning, with Perschetz and Vinson both saying that the team bond came easy from the start, with other lessons coming along the way.
“When it came to balancing classes and practice, my time management had to be a little different, but I think I fell into a rhythm pretty quickly,” Vinson said.
Vinson has now graduated with a degree in economics and is working at the Boire Brenner marketing group based here in Plattsburgh. Perschetz is currently finishing up the last semester of her fitness and wellness degree and will be graduating in December.
The duo is glad that they decided to come back to the program to continue to help lead their former teammates, with each of them already having their own favorite memory of their short coaching careers.
“Last year the women had the chance to get in the top three in SUNYACs but fell a bit short,” Perschetz said. “To come back and help get them there was great, even if I wasn’t running on the team.”
Vinson said that he just enjoyed being able to watch the new faces of the team meld together with all the old ones he knew.
The Cards will see action tomorrow in Houghton, New York at the NCAA Division III Atlantic Regional Championships, with Vinson and Perschetz along for the ride.
Their time running for PSUC may be over, and their coaching careers won’t last forever, but the memories will.
“It’s something that I’ll always remember, and being back as a coach has just added to it,” Perschetz said. “It really showed me that running is something that I’ll always love to do.”
Email Ben Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org