The Five-Borough Battle
The "Best In The City" will head to Van Cortlandt Park on Saturday for the NYC Mayor's Cup with 10 races scheduled to run from 1 pm until 4 pm. The Championships races each feature 20 teams comprised of 10 PSAL, seven CHSAA and three AIS schools.
Looking at ArmoryTrack's NYC Top Ten rankings, the only team not entered in the championship race is the PSAL's LaGuardia. This event will undoubtedly shape next week's rankings.
At the top of the girls' ratings, Port Richmond of the PSAL and St. John Villa of the CHSAA have been flip-flopping in the top spot all season long. Barring a huge jump up from another team, the title should come down to these two. Last year Villa edged Port Richmond, 61-64.
Port Richmond Coach Marissa Olivieri takes the Mayor's Cup very seriously. "This race proves to be very important for us as it is our first championship race of the season. It is also one of the only opportunities we have left as a PSAL school to race the 2.5-mile course. It's a time trial to see where we are compared to the other schools in the city. Our goal is to win the meet no matter who is in there."
She thinks the girls are ready for a good race. "Training is going very well. We adapted a few new elements to elevate our season. Girls are looking fit and healthy and ready for a big season of competitiveness."
The boys' race has a little more drama with Xavier and Monsignor Farrell of the CHSAA banging heads with Collegiate of the AIS. Midwood is the top PSAL team entered and it will fight Curtis and MSIT for local bragging rights. Collegiate Coach George Calano is still trying to get his team healthy and clicking on all cylinders.
"We still don't have all the pieces together. Isao Anzai returned at Six Flags. J.P. Meredith wasn't quite ready to race, but he will at Mayor's Cup. Marco (Pompilj) didn't race because of issues with his arch and is getting it checked out. He's unlikely racing at Mayor's."
"We're hoping all the pieces fall together by the time frost is on the pumpkin."
|Boys (2:45 pm)||Girls (3 pm)|
|Archbishop Molloy||Archbishop Molloy|
|Bishop Ford||Benjamin Banneker|
|Boys & Girls||Benjamin Cardozo|
|Bronx Science||Bishop Ford|
|Brooklyn Tech||Boys & Girls|
|Francis Lewis||Mary Louis Academy|
|McKee Staten Island Tech||Marymount|
|Midwood||McKee Staten Island Tech|
|Poly Prep||Notre Dame|
|Port Richmond||Port Richmond|
|Regis||St. Francis Prep|
|St. John's Prep||St. John Villa|
|Stuyvesant||St. Joseph By-The-Sea|
The individual title on the girls' side should come down to teammates Sabrina Southerland and Denise Branch of Benjamin Cardozo and Amanda Delacruz of Port Richmond. Delacruz won last weekend's PSAL Group run by more than 20 seconds while Branch placed 14th in a strong field at the Paul Short invitational in Bethlehem, Pa.
"Amanda's training and mindset are serious right now. She has an unstoppable ability to focus in every workout and race. She listens intensely to every angle of advice and coaching we give her. She is tough in her training and more in her mind. Her goal is to be one of the top distance runners in the city and rank amongst the best in the state," Olivieri added.
The boys' race should see a bigger pack. Contenders include Jack Stevenson of Stuyvesant, Dan Galford of Farrell and Ty Buckley of Collegiate. John Rice of Xavier and John Bentivegna of Farrell could also be in the lead pack. Rice — just a sophomore — could be the best in the city next year.
A year ago, Galford led his team to victory by winning the 2.5-mile race is 13:05.24 — though most expect a faster times this year.