Susan Wagner's Katie Altieri was having a fine season as it was, highlighted by a near-win at the PSAL City Championships. Tuesday, she put the cherry on the top, winning the individual Staten Island Championship with a time of 18 minutes, 25.5 seconds.
"She is a warrior," said SW assistant Scott Rizzo. "She just battles and battles. We wanted her to go out and battle for the lead."
From the gun, race favorite Notre Dame's Sierra Dinneen took off to the lead, as expected. As the race settled in, Altieri did the opposite, picking up the pace closing to within 10 seconds of Dinneen at the first-mile marker.
Dinneen, who was running on the construction-altered 5k course for the first time, missed the official's checkpoint causing her to be disqualified.
"When I got over there I really didn't know where to go," added Dinneen, "I didn't want to stop so I just just started to follow the course we ran last year."
Meanwhile Altieri, had to adjust her plan on the fly.
"I was a little confused when I didn't see her all of a sudden," added Altieri. "I started to concentrate on the girls I could see like (Notre Dame's) Alyssia Brown and Giavanna Comerford. I knew they ran similar times as me so I tried to just run out as far as I could so they wouldn't be able to outkick me."
Altieri put considerable distance between them, winning comfortably with a near-20 second cushion over second-place Brown (18:43.9) and the third place Comerford (18:49.7).
"I knew I was out fast and that if I kept it up I could run a good time for the team," added Altieri.
Despite losing out on Dinneen's points, Notre Dame's depth still powered them to victory in the team competition, topping Susan Wagner 49-62. CSI/McCown rounded out the top three with 89.
"Our top two executed well enough to push us to the win," commented NDA coach Al Garcia. "It was a new course so none of us knew what to expect. I sympathize for Sierra for not getting her proper victory but she was very understanding."
Staten Island Varsity Cross Country Champs (3.1 Miles): 1. Altieri (SW) 18:25.5; 2. Brown (NDA) 18:43.9; 3. Comerford (NDA) 18:49.7; 4. Olivia Legowski (CSIM) 19:26.6; 5. Amya White (C) 19:30.7; 6. Julia Calvo (CSIM) 19:45.5; 7. Cassidy Williams (MSIT) 19:46.8; 8. Olivia George (SJS) 19:48.2; 9. Casey Franzreb (NDA) 19:51.2; 10. Lydia Zheng (CSIM) 19:51.9.