Cicero The heat at the Cicero-North Syracuse track was blistering hot at last Thursday’s Section III state qualifying meet, and it brought out the best from the Skaneateles girls' track and field team.
Winning the Division II (small school) 4x100 relay, and moving on to the state championship meet next Friday and Saturday at Middletown High School, is the freshmen trio of Amanda Wetmore, Katelyn Ellison and Laurel Parker, who moved the baton around the track with flawless perfection.
But the Lakers still needed a strong homestretch from Taylor Woodruff, and the junior didn't disappoint as she crossed the finish line in first place in a school-record time of 50.91 seconds to outdistance second-place CBA, who finished in 51.31 seconds.
After helping the Lakers’ 4x800 relay team to a second-place finish in 9:50.71, which was the team's fastest time of the year, junior Madeline Adams ran a strong tactical race in the Division II 1,500-meter run before breaking away from the pack.
Running in the lead seemed to re-energize Adams, and she pulled away to win in 4:54.11 to win by a margin of 7.19 seconds over Homer’s Jade Auchmoody (5:01.30). She, too, competes this weekend at the state meet.
Neal, another talented ninth-grader, recovered quickly from her leg of the 4x800, and despite developing a headache, she took off from the gun in the 3,000-meter race.
Leading Neal for most of the race was CBA's Megan Ann Pierce, but the Laker was seemingly attached to Pierce at the hip. And right behind was Fabius-Pompey's Erin McConnell.
With a lap to go, Neal kicked it up a notch and broke away from her competitors to win in a stellar time of 10:24.70 with Pierce right behind in 10:29.58 and McConnell taking third in 10:35.80. Out of the three local stars, only Neal moves on to the state meet.