In a season full of unprecedented success, the Plattsburgh State cross country team is not satisfied just yet and is eager to turn heads this postseason. After having a productive weekend at Connecticut College, the team now can set its sights on SUNYAC championships.
“It’s a balancing act between the nerves and pushing yourself past your comfort zone,” senior Emma Deshaies said. “We’re in good shape and just need to make sure we stay confident. Mentally, if you put any limitations on yourself, then it will definitely hinder you.”
Deshaies stressed how getting out fast on starts can really make or break a race.
“There’s so many people there, so getting that top group as close together as possible will help us,” she said. “If we do that, we’re capable of being up there and competing with those tougher teams.”
With the SUNYAC championships a little more than a week away, Deshaies said trusting each other, being calm and staying true to what got the team to this point will be big factors.
Head coach Andrew Krug agrees.
“This is what we’ve been working on all season. The hay is in the barn,” Krug said. “The bulk of our work is done, so now we are just looking to maintain what we have.”
The whole season has been about people stepping up and working hard. Krug wants that to continue on Halloween.
“I don’t want us to change who we are and make sure we run our race.”
Krug knows he or his team cannot control factors such as weather or other team’s perfomances, but he is confident that if they stay disciplined in many areas such as eating and sleeping well, they will continue running solid paces.
“It all comes down to how we start and finish and not being content with one pace.”
This year’s SUNYAC championship will be hosted here at PSUC Krug wants to make sure the team takes advantage of that opportunity.
“We’ve trained on that course all season,” Krug said. “We’ve raced on it multiple times, so just being comfortable is something I’m going to push with our team.”
Last year, the Cards had to venture to Brockport, which was a six-hour bus ride. Krug said being able to race on their home course and not having to travel will pay big dividends for the team.
“It’s important to have such a meaningful race at home and have all things pointed in our favor,” Krug said. “It will make it fun for us to have the home crowd behind us.”
For junior Ethan Vinson, it’s all about fine tuning some things and staying mentally tough.
“I think we’re going to do well,” Vinson said. “It’s exciting to be here, and it’s going to be nice to be at our home course. I think seeing people we know cheering us on and just knowing we’re representing the school is pretty cool.”
Vinson said the focus now is to keep everyone healthy as the team has a week off until SUNYACs. The Cards’ upcoming week will consist of high-intensity workouts twice a week and a lot of recovery runs and training.
One thing Krug wants to make sure of is the newcomers on the team will be ready for the playoff stage. He said the upperclassmen can help the younger group prepare.
Krug also noted how pleased he is about his team’s work ethic this season.
“We’ve seen great team effort this season,” Krug said. “That has been a big reason why we’ve had so much success, and I’m really happy about that.
“If we do what we’ve done the whole season, we will be in good shape. I think everything will come together at SUNYACs,” he said.
Email David Luces at firstname.lastname@example.org