|2018 Season Overview for the PSAL|
Last year Benjamin Cardozo entered the season as the reigning champ and was ranked as high as #13 in Class A in mid September and far ahead of the rest of the PSAL. Then top runner Sophia Muccini was injured and wheels fell off for the Judges' parade float to a repeat championship. Left with just four runners who could crack 27 minutes at Van Cortlandt Park on championship day, Cardozo finished far back in 7th even though it still had the best score of any team's top three runners.
Though it is tempting to think that Cardozo would have breezed to last year's title if Muccini had not been hurt, the truth is that the Judges would actually still have only finished 3rd if they had Muccini finishing 1st. That is because Brooklyn Tech and Susan Wagner pushed each other in a great battle down to the wire, with the Engineers and star senior runner Aziza Chigatayeva taking the victory by 5 points over the Falcons. Brooklyn Tech's 83 score was 1 more than the team's total in its win two years previously in 2015, and the victory set up a rubber match this year between the Engineers and the Judges for bragging rights to the title of best PSAL team of the last five years.
This year's battle for the PSAL crown shapes up to be a close contest between a quartet of the favored team from four different boroughs, though Staten Island may also throw in a few more contenders. Reigning champ Brooklyn Tech loses 2017 champ Aziza Chigatayeva but has the rest of its top 5 back and should also see the return of Lucinda Doogan at the top of the lineup after missing 2017. Benjamin Cardozo of Queens has the PSAL's top two projected runners with last year's runnerup Abigail Perez being rejoined by Sophia Muccini. Staten Island champ Susan Wagner has five of last year's top six back headed by 6th place finisher Kathryn Altieri. Stuyvesant of Manhattan finished a distant 3rd last year but basically has everyone back headed by 7th place PSAL finisher Clara Mohri and appears to be a dangerous challenger for the conference crown. CSIHS-McCown, McKee Tech, Townsend Harris, and Fiorello Laguardia all could be contenders if they can find one or two more sets of fast legs.
Both last year's champ Aziza Chigatayeva and 3rd place finisher Madelyn Rodriguez of New Dorp are gone, and that leaves Abigail Perez as the lone returner from last year's top 3 in the PSAL championship. Perez should be joined by the PSAL's highest rated returner, teammate Sophia Muccini, to form the top two for the conference in the preseason. If track results are any indicator, a big group of challengers for the PSAL crown may be lurking among last year's top 10 finishers, as Bronx Science's Zoe Cooper, Susan Wagner's Kathryn Altieri, and Stuyvesant's Clara Mohri all had impressive results outdoors. Brooklyn Tech's Lucinda Doogan also looks to be in top form on her return after a missed year.
The 2017 PSAL championship featured a battle at the top between Benjamin Cardozo's Abigail Perez at right and Brooklyn Tech senior Aziza Chigatayeva, who took 1st and led her team to the title.
|Top 5 Teams at 2017 PSAL Championship|
|Projected Top 5 Teams for 2018 from Returners' 2017 TR Ratings|
|Projected Next 3 Teams for 2018 from Returners' 2017 TR Ratings|
Stuyvesant's Clara Mohri, McKee Tech's Cassidy Williams, and New Dorp's Madelyn Rodriguez were all battling for top 7 places heading back to the bridge at the PSAL championship last year.
|Top 2018 Returning Runners by Last Year's TR Rating|
Kelly Wong and Julie Yu finished in the top 25 in the PSAL championship last year to help Brooklyn Tech win a narrow victory.
Bronx Science's Zoe Cooper followed here by HS of American Studies' Abigail Neely will be among the runners again battling for a top 10 spot in the PSAL this year.
|PSAL Team Profiles|