|2017 Season Overview for the CHSAA|
The Gator era in the CHSAA appears to be moving into a fourth year as Notre Dame seeks to extend its hold on the Catholic schools' championship. Last year Notre Dame impressively finished among the top 10 teams in the state and was ranked only behind Shoreham-Wading River in Class B. Even though lead runner and CHSAA champion Sydney Rice graduated along with Lauren Pitarresi from the Gator top five, there seems to be enough runners coming back or coming in to keep the team ensconced at the top of the league and also among the top ranked teams in the state. Senior Keiana Mitchell and sophomore Sierra Dinneen finished in the top three in the CHSAA championship, and Jackie Thompson, Lindsay Field, Casey Franzreb and newcomer Nkoya Barnes provide the depth for another big year at Notre Dame.
Last year Notre Dame entered the season rated a big 15 TR points ahead of nearest rival Kellenberg, but this year the fast-developing Firebirds have almost halved that difference. With a solid core behind frontrunners Maureen Lewin and Nora Bennett, Kellenberg is looking to pull a surprise and move up from last year's second place CHSAA finish when the Nassau-Sufflok CHSAA champs lost by 25-62 to the Gators in the CHSAA Intersectionals. St. John the Baptist, Sacred Heart (Long Island) and St. Anthony's also have improved preseason ratings this year, so this season is shaping up to have the most competitive and high-flying action in many years in a resurgent NYC-area CHSAA.
The picture is less rosy out west for the Buffalo-area CHSAA schools that compete in the Monsignor Martin championship, especially with longtime little powerhouse Immaculata suspending operations after the 2015-16 school year. Almost half of the top thirty runners from last year's race were lost to graduation including the top three runners from the champ Nardin Academy that was led by senior twins Danielle and Gabrielle Orie. Buffalo's Sacred Heart lost lead runner Mary Gartland and is well off last year's preseason ratings, but the Sharks may still have the edge for the 2017 Monsignor Martin title over Mount Saint Mary.
Last year seniors Sydney Rice and Danielle Orie were at the top for CHSAA individual honors, although the only time they met up was at the Federation meet where Rice was 38th and Orie was 60th. But a week later Orie returned to Bowdoin and had a spectacular 18th in the NXN-NY race for a rating that equaled the 129 TR mark she hit while winning the McQuaid-AA race. Nobody this season is on the same level in the CHSAA as Rice was last year, but Sierra Dinneen of Notre Dame and Maggie Maier of Sacred Heart (LI) are only sophomores and have room to develop, and the Gators' Keiana Mitchell is the top returning runner from last year's CHSAA championship, so there will be a good contest at the top of the league this year. Five of last year's top 11 runners and 6 of the top 20 at the CHSAA meet were freshmen, so expect big things to happen this year.
Sydney Rice of Notre Dame won the CHSAA championship to lead the eastern Gators to their third straight title, and Danielle Orie of Nardin Academy was the top runner in the Buffalo area CHSAA championship to lead her western Gators squad to victory.
|Top 5 Teams at 2016 CHSAA Championship|
|Projected Top 5 Teams for 2017 from Returners' 2016 TR Ratings|
|Projected Next 5 Teams for 2017 from Returners' 2016 TR Ratings|
Notre Dame sophomore Sierra Dinneen sports the top rating for the CHSAA's returning runners in 2017.
|Top 2017 Returning Runners by Last Year's TR Rating|
|Bishop Loughlin's Aida Palmer finished in the top 10 of the CHSAA championship last year as a freshman.|
|CHSAA Team Profiles|