Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Quality runs over quantity

The Plattsburgh State track and field teams, both men and women, are having a stellar season. This success a result of both impressive individual performances and strong results in team-oriented events as well.

Junior sprinter/jumper Jess Huber is currently sitting in the No. 1 spot in the nation for the 200-meter dash, posting the seventh-fastest time a woman has ever logged at the Division III level at 24.66.

On the men’s side, Ray Adekoya tied the PSUC record in the pole vault with a 4.55-meter vault. Last weekend saw the Cardinals break five school records, which is a first in school history, head track and field coach Nick Jones said.

This season the number of athletes competing for PSUC is lower then usual. Jones highlighted the lower number of competitors as his main qualm with his squad this year.

Track and field is somewhat unique in that there are multiple athletes who compete for both track and field and another athletic team.

There are some student-athletes here at PSUC who arrived with the intention of just playing one sport, but ended up picking up track and field as well.

One example of a two-sport athlete can be seen in freshman Brooke Knight.

Knight was a freshman standout on the women’s soccer team this season and was recruited by track and field in addition to soccer coaches and knew she wanted to play for both teams when she came to PSUC.

Knight, who has been consistently posting top-five finishes in both the long and triple jumps in her first collegiate season, expressed that it is sometimes difficult to balance class, soccer and track at the same time.

“With spring workouts starting, it is definitely hard,” Knight said. “But the coaches are very understanding that the sport in season comes first.”

This general understanding between coaches is crucial for two-sport athletes to even be a possibility. This also requires coaches to be more open about scheduling team or individual practices and meetings.

This flexible attitude has been understood and seemingly perfected by Jones.

Jones has a somewhat unique scheduling method that he implements to find a time that works for his team as a whole and for individuals. Jones makes himself available practically all hours of the day, which causes some early mornings and late nights, but still doesn’t deter him.

“I’m at the field house at 6 a.m. sometimes to make sure I’m there for them,” Jones said. “On those days where they have a lot of classes, they’ve got to get up early and head down. It is important to get better.”

Email Bailey Carlin at bailey.carlin@cardinalpointsonline.com

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