D1-AA Girls - Team & Individuals Breakdown
- Preseason Rankings: Team | Individual
- State Qualifying Spots For Teams: 2
- State Qualifying Spots For Individuals: 10
- 2019 Individual Champion: Meredith Glunz (Villa Joseph Marie) - 19:18
- 2019 Team Champions: Pope John Paul II - 43 points
Villa Joseph Marie's Meredith Glunz had a terrific freshman season in 2019, running a best of 19:02 at Paul Short and then capturing the D1-AA title in 19:18. She went on to earn a state medal in her first trip to the state meet, placing 20th in AA.
Glunz will look to make it a repeat and she'll be the one to beat, but it should be a close race again this season, as she will square off with Gwynedd Mercy Academy's Kelly Murray. Murray won the district in 2017 and was a state medalist in 2017 and 2018. She was second to Glunz at districts last season and, now a senior, she will be a good challenger once again.
There's plenty of good talent back after these two, though. Pope John Paul II's Gianna Cagliola was third in the district and just on the outside of the medals at states, placing 30th. Lower Moreland's Leena Saidi, PJP's Isabella Greco and Kathryn Todd, Collegium's Lyndsey Reef, and Merion Mercy's Marianne Cheeley were all inside the top eight of the district last season.
There is some good talent here, and plenty of these girls have a shot to make an impact not just in the district, but also the state in Class AA.
Pope John Paul II rolled to the District 1 Class AA title last season, to win by a whopping 59 points over second place. At the state meet, PJP kept it going, taking sixth at Hershey in PIAA Class AA. PJP brings back an impressive top three of Cagliola, Todd, and Greco, though it lost some key seniors to graduation. If PJP can retool the back end of its varsity squad with some good depth, this team is capable of another district title and another good run at Hershey.
Last year, there was just one state spot in D1-AA, which PJP claimed with ease. But new this season is an extra state qualifying spot for the girls of D1-AA and the door is open for another team to earn a berth to Hershey.
Nazareth Academy, second last season, brings back some good talent (six varsity girls) and should be in the mix for that second spot, looking to build off a solid 2019 season. Merion Mercy Academy was fourth last year brings back a number of varsity girls this season. Collegium Charter and Villa Joseph Marie are two squads that can't be counted out, either.
Overall, it should be close for those state spots and D1-AA is certainly a district/classification to keep an eye on.