Aiden Brancaccio from St. Anthony's crosses the finish line in first...

Aiden Brancaccio from St. Anthony's crosses the finish line in first place with a time of 13:06.4 during the 2022 CHSAA Intersectional cross country championships at Van Cortlandt Park on Saturday. Credit: Louis Lanzano

The history of the CHSAA Intersectional cross country championship goes so deep that it doesn’t even seem real. But, it is, and the current iteration of the St. Anthony’s boys team has a part of it. St. Anthony’s won the team championship with 24 points at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx Saturday morning, the lowest point total in the 95-year history of the race, said St. Anthony’s coach Tim Dearie.

“It’s kind of crazy to think about all the years that this has been going on and all the great (runners) that have come through,” said Aidan Brancaccio, who won the individual title on the 2.5-mile course in 13 minutes, 6.4 seconds. “It was a nice surprise.”

Brancaccio continued: “My plan (Saturday) was to go out comfortable in the first 1,200 meters until I got to the bridge. I worked the back hills and kept it going the last 1,000 (meters).” 

St. Anthony’s placed six runners in the top 10 and all seven in the top-12. Jack Morelli finished second in 13:14.5 and Collin McLaughlin was fourth in 13:17.9.

The win marked St. Anthony’s 20th championship at the event, the most of any team, Dearie said.

But, as cool and noteworthy as the point record was, St. Anthony’s still has one goal in mind — winning the state Federation championship next weekend in Wappingers Falls.

“Everything, mindset and training-wise, has been building up to the Federation meet,” said Brancaccio. “Although we had a really good day today, we’re looking to really be at the top of our game come (Saturday).” 

St. Anthony’s also won the girls championship, scoring 90 points. Their highest finisher, Olivia Czoch, was fifth in 16:42.6. Sacred Heart’s Maeve Going, who won the Nassau-Suffolk CHSAA league championship two weeks ago, was second in 15:58. Katelyn Kliesch of Notre Dame Academy on Staten Island won the girls title in 15:30.4.

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