Springfield’s Galligan can’t catch Previdi at the finish

UPPER PROVIDENCE >> He had a chance, but he just didn’t have the kick.

Still, Liam Galligan paced all Delco competition in the Bulldog Invitational’s boys small schools race Saturday at Rose Tree Park. His 16-minute, 4-second time was good for second overall and a silver medal for the Springfield junior, who finished two ticks off Masterman’s Joseph Previdi (16:02) for a gold-tinted reward.

“I should’ve kicked all the way in the horseshoe,” Galligan said of the course’s horseshoe-shaped path that sits roughly a half-mile from the finish. “But I was afraid (Previdi) was going to come after me and I was going to lose it.”

Galligan ran in front for a fair portion of the race, but relinquished the lead to the Masterman senior just before the two-mile mark of the 5,000-meter course.

Though the Bulldog course runs a little differently from that of the 5k route used for the Delco and Central League championship races, it encompasses the same idea: A smooth first mile, a crippling hill just before the second mile marker and a long, gradual uphill finish.

Once Previdi got out in front, Galligan knew he’d be tough to catch.

“I definitely had a shot, but I just didn’t kick it in soon enough,” Galligan said. “That was one thing I didn’t want.”

As Saturday marked Springfield’s first competitive meet of the fall, the 2014 cross country All-Delco said he won’t worry too much about his time or place. Not yet, anyway.

“I’m not happy that I didn’t win. I really wanted that,” he said. “(But) I’m feeling good. My body’s fine. Breathing’s fine. Form’s good.”

Strath Haven senior Ian Reid came in all alone with his third-place mark of 16:37, about 16 seconds ahead of Bishop Shanahan’s Chris Kolimago.

Harriton’s Jonah Gillespie-Sickman (17:04) and Bruce Herriott (17:06) crossed at eighth and ninth, respectively.

“We ran (the course’s midpoint) in a different spot, and it was definitely better than having to go up the long hill,” Reid said of the hill that sits around the midway point of Rose Tree’s usual course. “But we do a lot of practicing on these hills. Like last year, we would pass other (runners) coming up the hill.”

Though Reid said he wasn’t sure of what was going on behind him, he kicked at the end, just in case.

“You never look back, so I didn’t know how far back they were,” Reid said of the competition behind him. “I wasn’t sure if they were right there or farther back, but I was just hoping they wouldn’t pass me at the end.”

In girls action, Emma Seifried, a sophomore at the Country Day School of the Sacred Heart and the reigning Daily Times female Runner of the Year, captured silver in 19:26, while Harriton’s Tasha Greene (20:26), Archbishop Carroll’s Tess Gibbons (20:33) and Episcopal Academy’s Caitlin Jorgensen (20:57) weren’t far behind, as they finished fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.

Though Rose Tree isn’t Seifried’s favorite course — she’d prefer a hillier route — the two-time All-Delco made it work.

“It felt good,” she said of running competitively again. “I definitely went a little slower, but I don’t want to dwell on it.”

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