Sunday, July 21, 2024

Track and field succeeds at SUNYAC Championships

Ginny Lucchetti turns a corner in her race at Memorial Hall Feb 7.


By Justin Rushia

The Cardinals went to the conference championship and brought home qualifying times, personal bests and a broken school record… again.

The Plattsburgh State track and field team took a trip to Brockport for the SUNYAC championships Friday, Feb 23, and Saturday, Feb 24.

With the SUNYAC becoming more competitive every year, placing high in the meet is becoming ever more challenging. The meet had multiple sprinters run close to under seven seconds in the 60-meter dash and under 23 seconds in the 200-meter dash, feats that have not been seen in past seasons in the SUNYAC.

“It’s definitely different than any other meet,” Cypress said. “It’s a lot more intense.”

Cypress flourished under the bright lights of the meet, breaking his own school record in the 200. Cypress flew around the track in 22.20 seconds, beating his previous time of 22.24 seconds. He earned the bronze medal for the event.

“I put on the gas at the 100-meter mark since I knew nobody was with me,” Cypress said. “It was just push and pray.”

Distance runner Noah Bonesteel reached a qualifying mark in the mile and the 800-meter run. Bonesteel ran a time of 4:14.99 in the mile race and a time of 1.57.29 in the 800.

Bonesteel was decorated with the Elite 20 award, an honor modeled after the NCAA ELITE 90 program. The Elite 20 recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the conference championship level in their sport while also achieving the highest academic standard among their peers.

Brexton Montville, a fifth-year graduate student, also had an impressive day, earning a bronze SUNYAC medal in the 60 to add to his growing collection. 

He ran seven seconds flat in the event.

Montville has been one of the highest scorers in every meet the Cardinals go to. As he prepares for AARTFC, the sprinter hopes to continue his impressive form in his final indoor season. To do this, he must reach a time to qualify for the NCAA National Championships.

“I want to help out the younger guys because they’re the future of the program, and we want to leave this program better than how we found it,” Montville said. 

The men’s team finished sixth place, scoring 28.3 points, and had five individuals reach regionals. This list includes Brexton Montville and Jordan Williams in the 60, Charles Cypress in the 60 and the 200, Noah Bonesteel in the mile and the 800, and wild card entry Aidan Masten in the long jump. Plattsburgh will also send the 4×200-meter relay team consisting of Montville, Cypress, Williams and Ryan Beltran to regionals. 

The women’s team finished eighth place with 18 points. Three individuals captured the AARTFC time, qualifying them for regionals. These athletes include Marissa Colvin in the 5000-meter run, Marissa LeDuc in the pentathlon and Michaela Schaffer in the triple jump. 

Along with the three individual qualifiers, the women’s team is sending their distance medley relay consisting of Ginny Lucchetti, Sophia Gambino, Lillian Moran and Sarah Smith. Plattsburgh is also sending a 4×200 team consisting of Michaela Schaffer, Morgan Thompson, Grace Estus, LeDuc and Deanna Zoch to the event.

With regionals and the possibility of NCAAs on the horizon, the Cardinals are gearing up for its largest competitions of the year. Regionals will take place Friday, March 1, and Saturday, March 2.

“I’m just trying to be more in the moment and enjoy my time,” Montville said. “This is the last dance, as everyone calls it nowadays.”


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