Meggie Hart ended her distinguished cross country career as a Cazenovia Laker on Nov 11 at the New York State Championship Meet, earning 35th place and honors as the Sportsmanship Award winner for Section 3. Meggie Hart capped her long and distinguished career with the Cazenovia cross country team on Nov 11th with a successful competition at the NYSPHSAA championship meet. Fitting with her character throughout her years as a Laker, she was honored as the female Sportsmanship Award winner for Section 3. Hart battled to a 35th place finish among the best Class C runners in New York in a time of 22:07.7. She had to contend not only with the top 131 harriers in her class, but with a combination of frozen and muddy conditions that rendered the 5,000 meter course at Wayne High School challenging at best and treacherous in places. With morning lows in the 20’s, the churned-up mud and standing water on the course were frozen solid. As the temperatures rose to the freezing point with bright sun by the Class C race, it became an unpredictable combination of ankle-turning frozen ridges and slick, soupy patches of mud. Despite the tough terrain, Hart proved herself among the top runners in the state. She also contributed a Section 3 victory among the state’s 11 sections at the NYSPSHAA meet. Central New York had a low score of 216 points for its top ten runners in the intersectional competition to crush runner-up Section 6 (340) and nine other regions for the title. The Syracuse area showed its dominance in girls cross country at the meet as Section 3 won three of four team titles (including league rival CBA’s win in Class C) and three of four intersectional titles. This was Hart’s third appearance at the state championship meet, tying a program record for most appearances. She helped lead her team to a 5th place finish in 2015 and also earned an individual bid in 2016. The state title appearances are among the many honors earned by Hart, who will continue her cross country career in college. She earned first team all-league honors for the fourth time in her career this season, a string that was highlighted by an individual league title in 2016. Hart also holds the fastest time at the Baldwinsville Invitational in Laker program history (18:00.2) and the second fastest “speed rating” (122) ever for a Cazenovia harrier. In addition to her athletic prowess, Hart has been known throughout her cross country career for her character, selflessness, quiet leadership and sportsmanship. Elected as a Captain by her teammates this fall, she was honored with the “Career Contribution Award” by her coach at the program’s fall banquet last week. Capping all these honors was her selection from among all the female cross country runners in Section 3 to receive the Sportsmanship Award at the state meet. The honor was a fitting conclusion to Hart’s distinguished tenure with the Lakers which has always been characterized by hard work, humility and respect for her competitors. Meggie Hart leads a pack of runners through a combination of mud, snow, ice and frozen ground during the NYS Championship Meet on Nov 11.