Clara Rowles, center, and Meggie Hart, right, led the Lakers during three successful meets in an eight day span as Cazenovia added two more league wins and top finishes in two large invitationals. (photo by Neal Coffey)
In a busy week of racing action, the Cazenovia girls cross country team racked up top finishes in two huge invitationals and added two more dual meet victories to their OHSL Liberty League resume.
The girls travelled to the Wayne Invitational on Sept. 16 for the chance to race on the course that will host this year’s state championship meet. The Lady Lakers ran to an impressive fourth place finish among 28 teams in the “Varsity 3” race. In total, more than 100 teams from across the state competed in the NYS championship preview meet. Clara Rowles led the way for Cazenovia, earning an 11th place finish in the large field, followed by Meggie Hart in 14th. Isla Stover, Isabel VanTassel and Jackie Gamlen also scored for the Lakers.
The team resumed league competition on Sept. 20, as they visited Hannibal to take on the Warriors and the APW Rebels. Hannibal gave the Lakers a strong challenge as they jumped out to a quick start on their home course, but Cazenovia ran a patient race, steadily moving up throughout the 2.8 mile contest. The Lakers’ tactics paid off as they picked off their opponents one by one, placing five of the first eight finishers across the line to prevail 22 to 33. They easily overwhelmed APW, capturing the first six places versus the Rebels to win 15 to 51.
Clara Rowles (18:33) and Meggie Hart (18:36) finished one-two to lead the field with Kelly Frost (20:22) and Isla Stover (20:24) both showing rapid improvement in their first season of cross country to take fifth and sixth places. Jackie Gamlen (21:16) passed four Hannibal runners in the second half of the race to cap the Lakers’ scoring in eighth place. Isabel Van Tassel (22:08) and Jenna Steinberg (23:12) also contributed to the victory versus APW by displacing their scorers. The double victory moved Cazenovia to 3-0 on the season in league action.
The Lakers closed out the busy week of racing by competing at the Baldwinsville Invitational on Sept 23. The girls posted an admirable performance in a huge field, finishing third among 40 squads in the small schools division. Only number one state-ranked CBA and Section V’s Waterloo finished ahead of Cazenovia. Each member of the team posted their best race of the season on the fast 2.95 mile course.
Clara Rowles led the Lady Lakers with a third place, 19:03 effort while Meggie Hart was second for the team in 11th place at 19:33. Isla Stover continued her rapid improvement, finishing third for the team in 21:08 with Kelly Frost close behind in 21:16 in her first invitational race. Jackie Gamlen earned fifth place among the Lakers in 22:38 to cap the team’s score. Isabel VanTassel displaced numerous runners from other teams as she was sixth for Cazenovia in 23:19, while Eleanor Wester was seventh in her first race of the season after a minor injury. Eva Gagnon (24:35), Allison Raymond (24:39) and Chloe Smith (25:08) all added their fastest times of the year for the team.
Cazenovia will host APW this Wednesday, Sept. 27 in a rematch of last week’s league action.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.