The Plattsburgh State cross country team began its season with two second-year athletes winning at home.
The Cardinals will follow up that performance with the 37th annual Cardinal Classic, sponsored by Kinetic Running. The race will take place Saturday at 11 a.m. outside of the Plattsburgh State field house.
The women’s 5-kilometer race kicked off the event at 11 a.m Saturday at the Plattsburgh State fieldhouse. Sophomore Jasmine “Jazz” Roberts had the lead in her race, finishing with a time of 19 minutes and 57.23 seconds.
“This is my 6th year running for a team,” Roberts said when asked about her admiration for the sport.
Her running experience has helped her develop endurance, and her individual win was anticipated.
PSUC junior Kristina Watrobski placed third overall, behind Norwich’s Carisa Dekalb, scoring a time of 20 minutes and 31.60 seconds.
In the men’s race, the Cards also took a first-place finish against Norwich. The three-second gap between two competitors at the front made this a close race. Sophomore Luke Groves took the crown with a time of 16 minutes and 44.13 seconds, beating out Norwich’s Adam Saucier.
PSUC senior William Lindau took third place for the Cards with a time of 16 minutes and 54.38 seconds.
PSUC’s two winners share a common background, as both called Guilderland High School home before the two high school friends joined the Cards together last season.
Both winners celebrated each other’s current success after the meet.
This year the Cards has a total of ten newcomers. The newest athletes on the men’s team are Joseph Chianese, Brian Keach, James Faraci, Tyler Martin, Michael Meddings, and Brenden Jung. Freshmen Rebecca Block, Dana Dipaoli, Carissa Robistow and Kristen Thomas are the newest additions to the women’s cross country team.
To start a season with so many newcomers, recruiting is vital to creating a cohesive team.
“Academics are certainly important,” said head coach Andrew Krug. “But we also want people who are hardworking and committed to what we are trying to do.”
PSUC’s women won the race with a final score of 22 points, 17 points ahead of Norwich. The men’s team, on the other hand, had tight competition losing by one point against Norwich’s final score of 27 points.
“Cross country is about the team,” Krug said. “Everybody matters. You’re always trying to beat the guy in front of you or the women in front of you, so everyone is definitely important.”
The first of only two home meets for the academic year ended with a brief award ceremony for its finishers, while families and fellow students were there in support for the athletes.
This weekend is expected to feature a greater amount of competition.
“More teams will be here this weekend” Krug said. “This meet will be a little bit more competitive.”
The lineup of teams will be St. Lawrence University, Clarkson University, and SUNY Potsdam. Krug calls this a “battle of the North Country.”
Krug believes it is important that these two meets are hosted by Plattsburgh State so that the tradition of the Cardinal Classic is kept alive.
“It allows the campus community to see what we can do,” Krug said. “It is a time where alumni come back, and it gives them a chance be connected with our program”.
Kinetic Running, a shoe store in downtown Plattsburgh on Margaret Street, will sponsor the upcoming race.
“It is owned and operated by two of our track & field and cross country alumni,” Krug said.
Krug said it’s great to have their support, and he would love to reciprocate that support to them as much as possible.
With the season ahead, Krug is expecting the newest freshmen, returning athletes, such as SUNYAC championship placer Jasmine Roberts, to all make a successful impact for the team.
Email Denise Brown at email@example.com