The Plattsburgh State track and field team will kick off its outdoor season tomorrow at St. Lawrence University with high expectations.
The Cardinals are coming off of a successful indoor season that included an appearance on the national level and many other strong performances at the regional level.
Head coach Nicholas Jones expects this weekend’s Saints Ice Breaker meet will be aptly named.
“We’re looking to get some experience under our belt in the events that aren’t competed in indoors,” Jones said. “We’re looking to get a bit of practice in as well as a mark for ourselves.”
The outdoor season will include the 400-meter hurdles, 4×100-meter relay and the javelin, all events that do not compete indoors.
After the men finished eighth out of 31 teams and the women finished 18th of 28 at the ECAC regional meet last outdoor season, Jones is confident that his team will still stack up well in the new All-Atlantic Region Track & Field Conference.
“I think it will be fairly similar, and I think we’ll do pretty well like we did in indoors as long as everybody is healthy,” Jones said. “We’re just looking to continue the momentum we developed indoors.”
The women will be looking to build on an indoor season that saw the team finish third place in SUNYACs, finish fifth place at the All-Atlantic Region Track and Field Championship and send sophomore Elisabeth Plympton to the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championship.
Plympton’s performance at the event included finishing 8th in the nation in the 60-meter dash.
“I think she’ll be fine as long as the weather holds up,” Jones said. “We should get to some decent meets with decent weather, but she’s a North Country girl, so she should be fine either way.”
Senior Stephanie Boucher will return for the lineup for the women for her last year of outdoor track eligibility.
Boucher made nationals in both indoor and outdoor track last season and will likely give a boost to the team in the 800-meter and 4×400-meter events.
Another senior on the team, Lindsey Davenport, is looking to run a strong outdoor season, competing in the 800-meter and 1500-meter events in her final year as a card.
“It’s really bittersweet because I love the team; I love the atmosphere,” Davenport said. “I’m going to miss it a lot, but I still have this last season so I’m not thinking about it too much yet.”
The men will look to build on an indoor season that left a bit to be desired in the team’s results but still had some solid individual showings.
The PSUC men finished in eighth place at the SUNYAC conference championship before finishing 14th out of 23 teams at the All-Atlantic Region Track and Field Championship.
“Indoor isn’t really the time you want to peak, this is the time when it really matters,” junior Matt Jenkins said. “We hope to do better in outdoor. I think we definitely have the talent to at least get 10th in the region.”
Jenkins will be part of a group of veterans that will look to fill in for the losses of last year’s seniors, Ethan Vinson and Kyle Jones.
Senior Zach Grandy is looking to build off of getting second place in the conference in the 400-meter hurdles last outdoor season with another strong year.
“I’m always trying to improve. This year, my main goal is [to be] conference champion, and hopefully even qualify for nationals.”
The Saints Ice Breaker meet will take place tomorrow at 2 p.m. at St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y.
Grandy and the team are looking at it as a chance to loosen up for the rest of the outdoor season.
“It’s going to be a little bit of a rust-buster,” Grandy said. “We’re just trying to get through it without getting hurt. Hopefully, we’ll get some good marks in. We always want to run fast, but at the same time you can’t expect anything too wild.”
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