by Kurt Wheeler
SYRACUSE – The Cazenovia girls indoor track team posted another stellar week of competition as they used flexibility and toughness to fill gaps in its lineup.
Finishing first among small schools and third overall, the Lakers beat most of the 20 teams at the Fred Kirschenheiter Memorial Invitational last Saturday at SRC Arena. Cazenovia scored 69 points to outpace everyone but Class AA powers Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool.
With their distance event corps depleted due to quarantines and mid-winter illnesses, Claire Braaten and Nadia Segall stepped up, running three tough events each for the Lakers.
Braaten scored in both the 3000 (fourth, 12:01.31) and 1500 (fifth, 5:33.87) while Segall contributed in the 1,000 and 1,500. Faith Wheeler also pitched in to score in the 1000 (seventh, 3:30.16). All three runners were joined by Ilsa Denton to pick up fourth in the 4×800 meter relay in 11:01.09.
Maleigha Coffie filled gaps in the jumps and middle distance as she qualified for sectionals in the high jump (4 feet 3 inches) and competed in the 600 for Cazenovia.
Susie Pittman earned the first of three scores on the day as she placed fourth in the high jump at 4’8”. Pittman also earned second in the pole vault (7’6”) and sixth in the 300 meter dash (46.60).
Pittman had plenty of company in the pole vault as Wheeler cleared 7 feet for third and Corrine Albicker topped 6 feet to make the Class B-2 sectional list and earn seventh place. The Lakers also had its best day of the season in the 300 with Meghan Mehlbaum running 47.86 and Katie Whitney hitting 47.99.
Whitney also led the Lakers in the 55-meter dash, placing eighth in 7.92 and anchored the 4×200 meter relay to a second place finish in 1:58.91. Melanie Michael, Caryn Cagnon and Jane Lee also added speedy legs in the relay.
Michael earned the top finish of the day for Cazenovia, placing first in a personal record time of 9.53 seconds in the 55-meter hurdles. Gagnon added a quick 10.26 effort while Bonnie Pittman ran a personal best of 10.41 in the event to move up in the sectional rankings.
Also, Michael added an 8.27-second effort in her first attempt at the 55-meter dash while Pittman hit another personal best in the 600-meter run at 1:54.72.
The Lakers also picked up points on the track in the 4×400 relay with Mehlbaum anchoring Denton, Sofie Reger and Maya Gilmore to fifth place in 4:54.74.
Emmi Rightmyre led the team in the horizontal jumps, reaching a season-best of 14’5” to top the sectional standard and placed third. Kylie Anthony also contributed in the long jump (13’3”) and triple jump (28’ ¼”) along with Albicker (28’4 ¾”).
Kenzie Halliday led the Cazenovia throwers with a personal best of 25’5 ¼” in the weight throw with Danielle Smith also hitting her best at 22’5” and Skye Stanford adding a 20’ ¼” effort. Smith led the trio in the shot put at 22’6 ¾”.
The Lakers have only one regular season meet remaining this Saturday to prepare for the upcoming league (Jan. 26) and sectional (Feb. 3) championships.