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Doc Gallagher's XC State Meet Report

By Dr. Mike Gallagher '71, 11/09/20, 8:45AM EST


In one of the deepest fields at the state meet, the Wildcats down-shifted late in the race to finish fourth as a team.

2020 Cross Country State Team

Runners and parents,

There were times over these past few months, when I felt like, to paraphrase John Feinstein’s book, we were in “A Season on the Brink.” Beginning with the pandemic, mask-wearing, social distancing, limited and cancelled practices, we never knew what the next day would bring!

Then we had limited-participation meets, cancelled meets, not to mention last-minute meets to deal with. Yet somehow we cobbled together a successful season and made it to the State meet.

The new Fortress Obetz venue provided yet another challenge. Lots of turns, tight corridors, and multiple surfaces were going to challenge the runners. The temperature was a toasty 74 degrees at race time. As I looked at the field spread across the starting line, I could see this was one of the deepest, most talented groups I had seen at the State Meet in a long time.

The 'Cats went out hard from the start and still found themselves in 13th place at the mile. When the field started to separate, Sean Uhran and Matt Kelly led the team as they moved into 7th place at the two mile. Coming off the hill with 800 meters to go, seniors Aidan Monroe, Peter Fitzpatrick, Joe Maloney, Connor Geary, and Junior Alex Paliga down-shifted and began passing runners like they were in the high speed lane on I-271!

The effort propelled the 'Cats to a 4th place finish over many talented teams!! Congratulations to Sean Uhran 16:03 (Second Team All-State!), Matt Kelly 16:16, Aiden Monroe 16:32, Peter Fitzpatrick 16:36, Joe Maloney 16:43, (a huge PR!) Connor Geary 16:49, and Alex Paliga 17:11.

I also want to recognize the alternates, Connor McAndrew and Sean Ward, for their contributions and training with the team through the State meet.

Thanks to the parents for all the work they had to do this year with transporting their runners to the meets. Thanks also to our great coaching staff: Alex Voigt, Bob Wolf '08, Sean Stefancin '08, Dan True, Sarah Horbol and Fr. Cyril Pinchak for their dedication to the success of the team.