Photo by Howard Anderson
Today, we salute Liam Galligan of Springfield-Delco. Galligan had a successful career, highlighted by a PR of 4:15.03 in the 1600 meters as a junior, which earned him fourth in the state. Coming off injury, he came back to place eighth in the event as a senior.
Throughout the end of June and through July we we be honoring our graduating seniors. To submit your own questionnaire to be posted on the front page of PennTrackXC, check out this page and email your responses to Dan Beck (firstname.lastname@example.org).
What was your most memorable race/competition?
My most memorable race that I partook in was the 2016 PIAA AAA Boys 1600 meter run final. This was my first outdoor state championships and the race was primed to be a very fast, competitive run. As a junior I knew I could run with some of the elite seniors in the field which included Alex Milligan and Mike Kolor. My race plan was to go out and grab the reigns for the race and attack the field from the start. I lead for 3 laps and was caught with 400 to go but held on for 4th, my highest state finish ever. What I will most remember about that race (besides the deadly heat) was the all out push that I gave to, thankfully, medal at the state championships through Gods grace. I was very satisfied and blessed by God with my race performance.
Where did you face your biggest competition?
The race where I faced my biggest competition would be both state 1600 finals I made in both my junior and senior years. Each field was loaded with all different kinds of amazing talents in PA and I am humbled to be in both of those races.
Out of all of your high school accomplishments, which stands out the most?
The high school accomplishment which stands out the most to me, is my 4:15 pr in the 1600m Run. Running that well in my junior year gave me a huge confidence boost going into my senior season of running.
Watch an interview with Galligan after winning the Championship Race at the Briarwood Invitational:
If you could do it all over again, what would you change about your athletic career in high school?
What I would change about my athletic career, is not cutting as many corners as I did. Being more mature on rest between workouts and runs, eating healthier, and expanding my cross training would be what I change. These things could have prevented injuries that I sustained, along with improving my fitness more.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
The most difficult obstacle that I had to overcome was suffering a stress fracture in my hip in October of my senior year of XC. After starting off right where I had hoped to be in XC, I had pain in my hip which broke up my training and hampered me in training. After getting over the initial pain, I felt worse of another pain in my hip and got the diagnosis, after MRI, that it was a stress fracture. The treatment included no running for 4 months, missing the rest of XC and all of indoor track action and with very, very limited cross training. After those 4 months, I was allowed to run, but only for 5 mins and day for 3 days a week along with a 5 min walk before and after that 5 min run. That prolonged for around 5 weeks which is progressed ever so slightly. After that I was realized to run on 5 days a week with limited workouts. Mentally this was draining and physically just as much. Having to regain my fitness which was lost due to injury on a constricted schedule made it a daily battle to regain fitness with toeing the line of re injury.Along with this, I only had a short amount of time to train before the spring track season. I was blessed to gain some of my fitness back and run well.
What will you miss the most?
What I will miss the most, is the atmosphere of Saturday Invitationals and Championships along with the time spent with my teammates as a family. The meets were something else and were always enjoyable to spend cheering on teammates and taking in all of the talent that was on display at these meets. My team was one of the most fun to be around and waste time at meets together. The hype bus rides and music was the most fun we ever had together just enjoying life in High School.
Do you have any advice for younger athletes?
My advice for younger athletes would be to put as much time as you can to training and don't cut corners. Be smart in training and make the necessary sacrifices to compete at high levels, if that is your goal. Eating healthy, getting up early in the summer, doing various supplemental things to complement your running are some of the things that have helped me improve over the years. Be consistent and a leader to your other teammates and show them, as you grow as a runner, what can be done when you put in the work to improve. The last thing I would say, is to always congratulate others after races and make some friends with your rivals and competitors.
How have your coaches influenced your performances and your life goals overall?
My coaches have showed me that if you stay faithful to your training and trust the process, you can reach your goals. They have always believed in me and it gave me a huge confidence boost in my racing and training.
What are your post-high school plans?
My Future plans are to earn a degree in Business Management from Franciscan University of Steubenville (OH). I will be competing I track and field and Cross Country with hopes of earning All-American and maybe breaking the 4 minute mile barrier.
Shout out to Joe Cardie for being my training buddy on Keehns' deadly workouts for 4 years and pushing me and believing in me when I didn't. Also to Jacob Varughese- stay strong. Also to the rest of my SHS XC and track teammates and all my coaches especially Ken Keehn.
My family members for dealing with my weirdness and overly obnoxious short shorts and cheering me on every day!
To all those who helped me through my injury- cannot thank you all enough.
And Finally, my homeschooling (co-op) classmates who are the best people ever! Thanks for being amazing and always cheering me on at meets and in life!