by Kurt Wheeler
NEW YORK CENTER — Cazenovia’s women’s track and field team finally kicked off their weather-delayed regular season by winning two doubleheaders and dominating the Onondaga Central Invitational with a first-place finish among 18 teams.
First, the Lakers outscored Christian Brothers Academy 122-18 and overwhelmed OnTech Charter School 136-3 in a double meet contest last Tuesday, setting 38 new season highs despite the cold conditions.
Katie Whitney, Melanie Michael, Susie Pittman and Grace Dolan each won three events to beat the Lakers in their first home contest of the season, as their scheduled April 19 meeting with Westhill was canceled due to foot snowfall a day earlier.
Whitney won the 100 (13.2), 200 (28.1) and anchored the 4×100 relay to victory in 53.8 seconds. Michael won the 100 hurdles (17.8), the 400 hurdles (1:17.0) and helped the 4×100 to victory.
Pittman dominated the pole vault (8’6″), high jump (4’6″) and triple jump (30’7″) to lead Cazenovia in the field events. Grace Dolan added a trio of sprint wins in the 400 (career best of 1:02.4), 4×100 and 4×400.
Corinne Albicker was a double winner as she won the long jump at 14’2” and helped the 4×100 take first place while adding second places in the 100 hurdles (18.9) and triple jump . Olivia Wong 12:01.4 in the 3,000) and Claire Braaten (2:38.4 in the 800) were also individual winners for the Lakers on the track.
Braaten, Nadia Segall, Dinah Gifford and Kate Millson won the 4×800 relay while Mary Williams, Olivia Ruddy and Meghan Mehlbaum teamed with Dolan for the 4×400 victory.
Olivia Morse threw a career-best 71’11 ½” to win the drive with Skye Stanford second in her own best at 66’6”. Williams won the shot with a 24’½” effort with Danielle Smith just behind at 23’10½”.
The Lakers were even more impressive at the Onondaga Central Invitational on Friday, scoring 122 points to top the 18-team field with Oswego (57) and Vernon-Verona-Sherrill (56) finishing a distant second and third. Cazenovia earned a season-record 18 during the encounter, including six new section qualifiers and three state qualifier performances.
Michael (17.50 in the 100 hurdles), Braaten (2:34.42 in the 800) and Susie Pittman (state qualifying height of 8’6” in the pole vault) were all Cazenovia individual winners, which also swept all three relays.
Whitney added a pair of impressive second-place finishes, running a career-best state qualifying time of 12.95 in the 100 meters and a season-best 28.19 in the 200. She also anchored the 4 relay × 100 of Dolan, Albicker and Michael to victory in their fastest time of the year at 53.13.
Dolan added a second-place finish of 1:02.75 in the 400m, with Mehlbaum sixth at a career-best 1:05.03. The pair were joined by Williams and Ruddy to win the 4×400 in a season best time of 4:26.90.
Segall ran her best 800 to finish second to Braaten in the 800 in 2:34.49. She was joined by Wheeler (season best 2:35.2), Millson and Gifford to win the 4×800.
Gifford (fifth in 11:57.75) and Wong (fourth in 11:49.66) both set season bests in the 3,000m. Williams and Grace Kingsley scored in the 1,500, while Michael added a fourth in the 400 hurdles and Bonnie Pittman a sixth in the 100 hurdles to complete the Lakers score.
Katie Pavelchak led the high jump with a third-place finish, while Susie Pittman added fourth-place points in the high jump and long jump in the field events for Cazenovia.
The Lakers will return to action against Solvay in their final home meeting of the season this Wednesday as they look to celebrate Senior Night with another victory.