The Cazenovia girls cross country squad earned their second consecutive Section III title on Nov. 5, with a gutsy performance that featured strong running by their entire pack.
The Lady Lakers easily outran OHLS Liberty Division rival Skaneateles for the 2011 Class C1 title, 44 to 78.
The girls were denied a second consecutive trip to the New York State Championship Meet by a talented Tully squad, which edged them 75 to 93 in the overall Class C state qualifier race.
The key to the Lakers’ success was a tight team finish as their five scorers finished in a 38-second span and their top six runners were all among the leading 30 finishers.
Jeanette Cudney led the team as she has throughout the season with a 20:51, 15th place effort. She was just one spot and two seconds ahead of Senior Captain Michelle Karker (20:53, 16th) who has surged late in the season to help the team to its strong finish.
Megan Stanford (21:04, 18th) and Malone Gabor (21:12, 20th) both ran their best race of the season to help the Lakers to a lower total than pre-race predictions. Margaret Wolsey capped the Lakers’ scoring with an outstanding 21:29, 24th place effort of her own, followed closely by Senior Captain Rae Tobey who had her best finish of the 2011 campaign at 21:44 (29th place).
Senior Logan Koennecke (23:02, 53rd) displaced numerous opponents from her seventh-runner position to help the squad to its excellent finish. Tori Wright (23:51, 78th), Evelyn Wells (25:21, 105th) and Senior Captain Paige Biviano also competed for the Lakers in the huge 140-runner championship field.
The cross country girls, currently ranked No. 6 in New York state for Class C, congratulated their sectional rivals Tully (ranked third in the state) after the race and wished them well at the state title meet next weekend. Only one of the powerful teams could make the trip due to shifts for the 2011 season.