After graduating three of their top five runners from last year, including now-Wagner College Seahawks Mahmoud Abdalla and Will Cuthbertson, the odds appeared long for Susan Wagner to repeat as Mayor's Cup champions. After all, the two were the backbone to the team that swept the PSAL City championship all three seasons last year.
The odds, however, never factored in Wagner's newest dynamic duo, junior Daniel Wronski and senior Josep Romero.
Wronski, who didn't even crack his team's scoring at last year's Mayor's Cup, ended up leading the way with an eighth place time of 13 minutes, 43.1 seconds through the 2.5-mile varsity course.
"Right before the team left this morning we got a surprise visit from Will and Mahmoud," said Wronski. "We were a really close team last year and they came back to make sure we knew that we were capable of winning it again. That really inspired me today."
Josep Romero, perhaps an even unlikelier hero, finished just a hair behind Wronski in ninth in 13:44.3.
"I think Romero might have been one of the last guys on our B-team last year," said SW coach Steve Corrigan. "To go from the eight or nine guy to top two really speaks volumes to the work these guys did all summer."
Michael Rodriguez-King, the highly-touted freshman was Wagner's third scorer (11th, 13:46.6), followed by Evan Daneluzzi (18th, 13:57.7) and Muhammad Qadri(22nd, 14:02.4).
The upstart Monsignor Farrell took third overall led by Chris Paxis (7th, 13:41.2), who was the top Islander on the day.
"Our goal today was to be the top team," said Paxis. "We're a little disappointed but finishing on the podium means we're on the right track, at least."
Andrew Rainbolt (10th, 13:46.0), Paul Siconolfi (20th, 14:00.0), Anthony Bentivegna (24th, 14:03.7) and Joseph Devito (25th, 14:06.9) completed the Lions scorers.