The Plattsburgh State track and field team is looking to start strong with a lot of fresh faces this season.
The Cardinals kick off their season with a meet this Friday in St. Lawrence, where the team will have to deal with the absence of key seniors from last season Stephanie Boucher, Lauren Perschetz, Ethan Vinson and Kyle Jones.
“It’s a pretty big hit, but we have a lot of young freshmen and a few transfers that we’re developing,” head coach Nicholas Jones said. “I think they’ll do a good job picking up the slack.”
Among those transfers is sophomore Marissa Jones, sister of Kyle, who transferred from Mohawk Valley Community College.
“He did really well here, so I’m hoping he paved the way for me,” Jones said, speaking of her brother. “I’m hoping to do just as well or better than him, because of course there’s the sibling competition going on.”
Jones went on to say that the new level of training she’s experienced since coming to Plattsburgh has her hoping for a successful season.
“I’m hoping to be close to a personal record soon because we’re doing way higher volume of training than at my old college,” Marissa Jones said.
Fellow Mohawk Valley transfer Micahael Warchol has enjoyed the transition from cross country to track as the winter sports season has begun.
“I’m coming off a pretty good cross country season, but now we’re moving to more of a focus on speed,” Warchol said. “I’m more of a speed guy, so I’m liking the switch between seasons so far.”
Nicholas Jones is excited to see what the new season can hold for the new members.
“They have a lot of talent,” Nicholas Jones said. “We just need to fix some bad habits and improve fitness and then see where that takes us.”
Nicholas Jones also has high hopes for a throwing team that looks to be stronger than in the past.
“For the women, we have strong throwers like Brianna Coon and Heather Chapman returning, and we have a large male group of throwers,” Nicholas Jones said. “I’m anxious to see what they can do.”
The Cards’ first meet of the season will be today at 4 p.m. at St. Lawrence University.
“For a lot of the runners, it will be their first college meet,” Nicholas Jones said. It’ll just be about getting a solid mark in before we go on break so people know what they have to work on to come back and have a solid rest of the year.”
Both Marissa Jones and Warchol expressed excitement to get the season going, but not go too hard at the first meet.
“No one wants to do anything too crazy at this first meet, but I definitely want to see what kind of shape I’m in so I can’t set myself up for the rest of the season,” Warchol said.
Marissa Jones echoed Warchol’s sentiment, adding that she’s ready to break off some rust.
“We’re all in pretty good shape,” Marissa Jones said. “Some of the girls are sick, but I think we’ll do well. It’ll be good to get the pre-meet jitters out of the way and get one in before break.”
Email Ben Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org