by Kurt WheelerThe Cazenovia girls cross country team assembled its best performance of the 2019 season at last Saturday’s Baldwinsville Invitational.With every member of the squad running to their fastest time of the year on the fast 2.95 mile course at Durgee Junior High School, the Lakers finished third in the Small School division, trailing only Trumansburg and Skaneateles. Tags: Cazenoviagirls cross country Lauren McLean continued to demonstrate her tremendous potential, racing to a best time of 21:44 flat (41st place) in just her fourth varsity race as an eighth- grader. Mary Williams sliced over a minute off her previous best time of the season to finish 44th in a time of 21:47.5 to close out the Laker scoring.The gap from the first to the fifth scorer for the Lakers was an exceptional one minute and 35 seconds, a key ingredient in their strong finish in the 40- team field.Laura Fitzgerald had the most improved race on the squad, finishing a minute and half ahead of her previous best to earn the critical sixth place for the team in 22:17.7. She teamed up with Finlay Stover, who earned seventh on the squad (22:22.1) to displace dozens of runners from opposing teams.The Laker pack was exceptional, with all of the team’s top ten runners finishing in the upper third of the large field of competitors. Mia Chesbrough (22:23.5), Maddie McGreevy (22:55.9), and Melanie Michael (23:07.4) all had outstanding races for Cazenovia.Senior captain Eleanor Wester bounced back from a knee injury to run a strong 23:30 with Emma Steinberg (23:43.9) close behind. Samantha Combs, Maggie Rowles and Jenna Steinberg also raced well for Cazenovia.The squad also had a milestone performance in its first league competition last Wednesday at their Fenner Road home course. The Lakers placed 17 runners across the line to earn a 15-51 victory over Solvay.Braaten (21:50 on the tough Fenner course) led the team to the win, with Isla Stover, McLean, Finlay Stover and Williams also scoring for the Lakers.The win was the team’s 100th dual meet victory since Kurt Wheeler took over the program in 1997. The team’s 100-39 record over that space totals a win percentage of .72 with an outstanding subtotal of 49-6 over the past decade (89%) since their first sectional title in 2010.Cazenovia hopes to improve upon that total this Wednesday as they visit Jordan Elbridge.Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story Ranked 24th in the state Class C poll going into the meet, the strong showing will likely move the team up in this week’s rankings.Junior Captain Molly Hart led the squad with a career-best time of 20 minutes, 12.4 seconds to earn 13th place in the competitive field. Claire Braaten also had her best race ever, shaving nearly a minute off her previous best to place 25th in a time of 21:06 flat.Isla Stover had one of the most improved performances on the squad, taking a minute off her best time of the season to cross the line in 21:26.5, which put her in 32nd place.