2022 NY Girls XC Preview: Class C

Girls Class C Preview

Team Snapshots - Individual Snapshots - Section by Section - Top Team Breakdowns

It's rare that a States race features the matchup of a pair of the the reigning team and the individual Class champs from the previous year, but with the drop down of 2021 B winner East Aurora and its star sophomore Emilia O'Leary, the tables are being set for another rumble between the Blue Devils and the C champ Bronxville Broncos. And O'Leary will be facing off against the Allegany-Limestone steeplechase wizard Angelina Napoleon who ran away from the field in the C race last year.

2021 Recap 

Bronxville had been looking for its 13th States title for a long time before it at last took a dominating win in the Class C race at Chenango Valley by a 57-90 margin over Norwood-Norfolk, whose 2nd was the best ever by a Section 10 team since Tupper Lake's win in the first C race back in 1980. Newfane, Voorheesville, and South Jefferson were not far behind in the next three spots. Pre-race favorites Alexa Doe of South Jefferson and AL's Angelina Napoleon battled well out in front early in the race, but the Gator went to another level and ran away for a 23-second win over the hometown girl Pipher Reid of Chenango Forks. Maddy Williams of the champion Broncos and Sharon Colbert of the runner-up Flyers took 3rd and 4th, and Voorheesville junior Miriam Sayahi got 5th in her last C race before her team moved down to D for 2022.

And talking about moving on down, East Aurora took a fairly close win in 2021 over Honeoye Falls-Lima for its eighth Class B title, which brought the Blue Devils' total to ten with the addition of the victories in C in 2014 and 2015. The race brought an end to a remarkable streak of appearances by the MM girls (EA coaches Walt and Marty McLaughlin's daughters Marta, Molly, Maggie, and Megan) that began in 2008 with a 20th by 7th grader Marta in her team's fourth States title and ended in 2021 by senior Megan's 19th place in its tenth. The streak boasted a  total of 12 top 20 medals, including a 2nd for Marta in 2010. Last year Emilia O'Leary joined former Blue Devils Catherine Lussardi and Sophia Tasselmyer (twice) as the individual winner at States.


So again, as in 2014 and 2015, we expect to see the clash of titans East Aurora and Bronxville at States as they nonchalantly flaunt their combined 23 state championships on the trails of VVS. Things have changed quite a bit during the eight year span as both teams enter this season more than 10 TR points below their 2014 levels following the difficult pandemic period. There was also a notable coaching changeover at Bronxville with the retirement of Jim Mitchell whose teams won championships in four different decades.

East Aurora begins at the top of the ratings as all of the varsity from last year's B champs are back with the exception of Megan McLaughlin. Emilia O'Leary has some help at the top as States medalist freshman Kaitlyn Houghton and sophomore Catherine Schoenemann are back for a very young top 3. On Bronxville's side, the loss of States 6th-place finisher Ava Black and sixth-spot runner Rory Denning means that the cast behind the sophomores Maddy Williams (3rd place) and Lux Burgin (16th) and senior Katie O'Hare (21st) will need to step it up.

The chief challengers to the Blue Devils and Broncos include 2016 C champ Newfane led by 11th place finisher Kylie Bowman and last year's runner-up Norwood-Norfolk, led by senior 4th place-finisher Sharon Colbert. Saranac led by freshman Sienna Boulds, James O'Neill fronted by senior Leah Richardson, and senior champ Angelina Napoleon's Allegany-Limestone squad all should be placing high in this year's Class C rankings. But as usual there is a Sectional squeeze for teams vying for States, and there is only one ticket available for the S6-C trio of East Aurora, Newfane, and Allegany-Limestone along with an Eden team that is likely to be among the top 10 in C this year.


Two state champions are expected to vie for the crown this year. FWIW, East Aurora sophomore Emilia O'Leary ran an 18:33.9 time to win the 2021 Class B race by 12 seconds and Allegany-Limestone senior Angelina Napoleon ran an 18:37.7 for her 23 second margin. A week later, Napoleon finished almost five places and 14 seconds ahead of O'Leary at Feds as she picked up a 7th.

A ways behind,  the next five highest rated runners include Bronxville freshman Maddy Williams, Newfane junior Kylie Bowman, Albany Academy senior Erin Boler, Norwood-Norfolk senior Sharon Colbert, and Springville sophomore Kirsten Melnik, all States top 20 medalists. Right behind them is Southwestern's Emma Lewis who this spring ran the second best time by a 7th grader in the 2K steeplechase and third best in the 3000m behind only Northport's Wickard twins Mia and Finnley, so look out below.