2018 NY Girls XC Preview: AIS

AIS Preview

New York State XC Season Guide - Girls 2018

2018 Season Overview for the AIS


To say that Convent of the Sacred Heart was a surprise winner of the AIS championship last year is not completely true. The Cardinals were the top ranked AIS team going into the meet and were the preseason favorites. But the team lost its expected top runner Fiona Calcagnini to injury for the season and seemed always to be badly snake-bitten in conference championships since their last win in 1994. In 2017 though a pack of seniors led by Julia Larson were joined by a couple of freshmen in kay performances to finally recapture the AIS in a 7-point squeaker over 2016 champ Poly Prep. Trinity finished in the 3rd spot, and Hackley got lead runner Olivia Curran back from her ailments and the Triathlon world championship in time for the meet on Marathon Sunday, but the Hornets were still far back in 4th. Marymount freshman Lauryn Heskin made her first year a memorable one in the AIS by winning the conference championship by 24 seconds and then continuing on to win the Foot Locker NE Frosh-Soph race.


Three different teams have won the AIS championship during the last three years, and predicting winners here is tough because most of the teams are thin at the top. Poly Prep hopes to repeat its 2016 win behind a trio of top 20 finishers at the 2017 meet: Jenna Denaver, Claudia Ianelli, and Alice Cutter. Marymount may have a good chance if Lauryn Heskin can get more support behind her. 2016 AIS individual champ and triathlete wiz Olivia Curran of Hackley will be all set even for flooded conditions at Van Cortlandt Park, but she also needs more help if the Hornets are going to get their first championship since 2015. Trinity's boys have won the last two AIS crowns, so maybe Mary Kate McGranahan and the girls' squad can help the school double up this year. Convent of the Sacred Heart had its pack of seniors move on, so the defense of the AIS title now seems to fall to five sophomores.


Three of the top four runners from last year's AIS are back, and that group does not include 2016 champ Olivia Curran who will be looking to rebuild back toward top form. 2017 champ Lauryn Heskin will be the big favorite as she continues to extend her range of accomplishments as a sophomore. Spence senior Eloise Freitag will be looking to improve on last year's 3rd place, and Jenna Denaver has placed in the top 4 for two straight years and hopes to lead preseason favorite Poly Prep to the title.

The AIS girls were ready for big performances on Marathon Sunday at Van Cortlandt Park.

Top 5 Teams at 2017 AIS Championship

1. Convent of the Sacred Heart 712.  Poly Prep 783. Trinity 904. Hackley 1425. Chapin 164
Projected Top 5 Teams for 2018 from Returners' 2017 TR Ratings

1.Poly Prep 77.62. Marymount 71.03. Hackley 61.04. Trinity 60.65. Convent of the Sacred Heart 44.0

Marymount's Lauryn Heskin won the Foot Locker NE Frosh-Soph race after capturing the AIS title three weeks before.

Top 2018 Returning Runners by Last Year's TR Rating

Name TeamGradeAIS PlaceSeason TR
Lauryn HeskinMarymount101119
Eloise FreitagSpence123105
Ali AstrachanEthical Culture12-103
Olivia CurranHackley1210102
Jenna DenaverPoly Prep114102
Skyler Pierce-ScherLREI11695
Allegra DeCherrieChapin9890
Mary Kate McGranahanTrinity12790
Toni DaCostaDalton11990
Eve SpencerHackley93486
Claudia IanelliPoly Prep121281
Hannah Cavanaugh-GouveaLoyola111779
Dandridge BellSchool of the Holy Child121478
Adrian FranzoiMarymount111876
Audrey WischRiverdale122476
Holly ArrisonNichols10--75

Little Red Schoolhouse-Elisabeth Irwin's Skyler Pierce-Scher was one of the top finishers in the AIS in her sophomore year.

AIS Team Profiles

Teams by Rank

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5