Veteran competitors are key to success in any sport. The Plattsburgh State track and field teams are no different. The veterans had a strong showing at the second meet of the season, the Dick Farley Invitational.
Head coach Nick Jones said that veterans of the team have been able to maintain success because they work hard to make sure they can compete to the best of their ability.
“They went out, they were mentally prepared, the weather was a little bit tough, but they didn’t want to waste an opportunity,” Jones said. “They know they don’t have as many athletic opportunities in college that they did at the high school level, so you’ve got to really make the best of every opportunity, and our veterans definitely did that this past weekend.”
On the women’s side, the top veteran competitors were senior throwers Ashley and Amanda Gadway and junior sprinter/jumper Jess Huber.
Huber said she has been able to achieve success and maintain by making sure she never overworks herself.
“I try to take care of my body the best I can. I am always in the training room,” Huber said. “I am very close with the head trainer, the assistant trainers, and I know them all by name. I go there for injury prevention, for rehab and I feel weird if I don’t go to the trainer before or after practice because it is a part of my routine to stay healthy, so that’s a definite big part with the trainers helping me and coach Jones not overworking me.”
In her first meet back since running at the indoor NCAA championships March 13, Huber won the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.38 seconds. This result qualifed for ECACs.
Huber said that she was able to come back strong because she just kept herself warm by keeping on her layers and running as fast as she could.
On the men’s side, the top veterans were sophomore distance runner Ethan Vinson, junior thrower Seth Allen and junior sprinter Luke Potash.
Jones pointed to Potash, specifically saying he did everything right to compete and win his event.
“He warmed up. It is harder to stay warm because the weather is consistently cooling you down and you don’t want to get hurt, so you have to continue to warm up and have layers on,” Jones said. “It’s harder to warm up when the weather is not that great.”
Potash said he has been able to sustain success throughout his years at college because he keeps building on the previous year.
“Every year, you are getting stronger and the next year you are building on that again, you learn things, you get better at doing blocks, the techniques, and things like that,” Potash said.
Potash was able to finish in second place in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.60 seconds and finished third in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.18 seconds.
He said his success in the first two races has come because of his time between indoor and outdoor not being too long and the team not having the hardest competition.
“They haven’t been super competitive meets, but once we get to SUNYACs there will definitely be harder competition and it will definitely be harder to do, but a lot of it is just the fitness from indoor as well,” Potash said. “There hasn’t been a lot of time in between, so you are taking your fitness from indoor and carrying it over to outdoor.”
This weekend, the team is heading to Albany for the UAlbany Spring Classic. Jones said that the team will have harder competition facing Division I and Division II schools.
“Hopefully we will have some good performances out of Jess and Luke,” Jones said. “If the weather holds up, we are looking to run faster times and maybe not have athletes in three events.”
Potash and Huber said that they both have been successful because they work hard to stave off injury throughout the season.
Potash, who is currently battling a knee injury, said that he just needs to keep working and icing to stay healthy and stay running at the highest level.
Huber said she focuses on her training and trusts her coaches to make sure she is in the best shape possible.
“I have been busy recently, but I am getting my workouts in the best I can and the meets themselves are a workout for me,” Huber. “I will be doing three events this weekend, so I am still focusing on getting healthy, getting in the training room and getting my exercises in.”
Jones said that the team needs to keep preparing and be ready for anything because anything can happen during SUNYACs, which is only two meets away.
He also said the weather is something the team can’t worry about if they want to be successful for the rest of the season.
“I always go and say to my athletes, ‘We don’t know what the conditions will be like at the conference championship,’” Jones said. “We might not have an ideal weather situation this entire season, but we have to compete to the best of our ability.”
Email Nick Topping at firstname.lastname@example.org