The CHSAA had the most complete season of any of the NY conferences during the pandemic year of 2020, but it was still a long ways from normal. Last year was a huge step in the right direction as everything pretty much returned to the schedule of the good old days, though the slate of invites in NYC was still down. Hopefully, 2022 will complete the comeback, especially in regards to the recruitment of younger runners to trail action.
Saint Anthony's dominated the CHSAA in both 2020 and 2021, and it was really the only team whose squad resembled the big squads of the 2010s. In 2019, eleven runners overall finished with a time at the championship meet that got a speed rating of 100 TR or better, and last year it was just four. The Friars had the most depth even though they had no 100+ finishers, and much of the squad was young. Kiera Udell, Olivia Czoch, Blair Davi, and Annelise Olsen all finished between 6th and 16th as the Friars bested Sacred Heart and the BQ-NY CHSAA champ St. Francis Prep by 70-114-137, as Kellenberg finished 4th at 144.
Notre Dame Academy which won five CHSAA titles between 2014 and 2019 placed three runners in the top four spots behind champ Lola Dinneen and seniors Alyssia Brown and Meghan Leonard, but the Gators' lack of depth pushed them back to a 6th place, 1 point behind the Notre Dame - Manhattan Dragons. Both teams earned tickets to the Federation meet along with the top four teams.
The Gator junior Dinneen earned the XC title that her star older sister Sierra never quite locked down. St. Joseph Hill sophomore Ava Gumb was 2nd, and filling out the top five was Archbishop Molloy junior Grace Murphy.
Sacred Heart of Buffalo ended Nardin's run of four straight Monsignor Martin Athletic Association championships. Gabriela Gallen-Kollela-Siren of Nichols School took her second title after a win in 2019. There was no MMAA championship in 2020.
Saint Anthony's does not appear to have lost any runners from last year's varsity or JV, so the very deep reigning champs should have a lock on this year's title. The Friars should again be led by the top 4 from last year, Udell, Czoch, Davi, and Olsen, but there are a lot of new young runners entering the fold who could make their mark. St. A's will be shooting for a record 17th title.
Things are less certain for the rest of the teams fighting for a top 6 CHSAA place that will earn them a trip to the Federation meet. All of these teams need help, ranging from a lot to still quite a bit. Top candidates again include Sacred Heart, St. Francis Prep, St. Joseph Hill, Our Lady of Mercy, and Kellenberg. Perhaps this year a big corps of young recruits will revive some programs.
Out west, Sacred Heart and Nardin again appear to be the main two teams that have enough runners to contend for the MMAA title.
Senior Lola Dinneen and junior Ava Gumb appear set to battle it out at the front of the CHSAA again. The Gator took the wins in the city BQ-NY CHSAA and the Intersectional championships, while the Hilltopper was ahead at Feds. Gumb took up the javelin during the spring track season, though likely that may not be a factor in the XC action this fall.
Over in Buffalo's MMAA action, Buffalo Seminary's Fiona Murphy is the only returner from the top 5 of last year's race, so she will start off as this year's favorite.