Regis Invitational: Bosco storms the Bronx

Photos courtesy of Craig and Tammy Lawson

The Bronx, N.Y. - For New Jersey’s Don Bosco Prep, pack-running is a mentality. But when a sardine-like pack of eight runners rose up Freshman Hill in the first mile of the 2.5-mile Regis Invitational at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx yesterday, you knew this race would be especially close.

“I knew that they would go out (with numbers) high up. I knew that they would be aggressive,” said Monsignor Farrell junior Dan Galford. “(I saw) a lot of burgundy and white.”

When the lead pack visualized on the final straightaway, they were four. Galford and Regis senior Ryan Phillips threw surges into the final 400 meters. Bosco senior Christian Costello simply bided his time.

Ryan Phillips leading the race last year

“When I came out of the back hills the kid from Monsignor Farrell made a move,” said Costello. “I wanted to save my energy for the last straightaway. When I saw the yellow flag up top, I started to go.”

Costello held off a hard-charging Phillips in the final 100 meters, winning in 13:00.24. Phillips (13:01.62), Bosco senior Ryan Tucker (13:03.19), and Galford (13:04.79), piled in behind him, with Bosco taking the team team title over Farrell, 22-54.

“We wanted to put five guys under 13:20,” said Bosco coach Kevin Kilduff. “We got four; we basically did that.  We’re still looking for a front-runner. I expect Christian Costello to be a little stronger up front.”

Bosco sophomore Kyle Levermore was the surprise, clocking 13:06.66 for fifth, while Bosco also claimed the sixth, seventh, and eighth spots.

“It’s amazing, their ability to pack-run,” said Phillips, who had raced Bosco at the same venue last year. “That’s what sets them apart.”

It was an encouraging showing for Farrell, New York City’s top outfit. Galford was disappointed in his fourth-place finish, but leads what clearly could be a distinguished group.

“We’ve got something special,” said Farrell coach Tom Cuffe. “I knew it a year ago.”

NOTES: Phillips, who finished 19th at the State Federation championships a year ago, had a strong summer training with the Ridgewood (N.J.) High School team near his home, logging 530 miles. He leads a talented group of runners in the CHSAA this fall, including Galford, St. Anthony’s Tom Diliberto, and Chaminade’s Thomas Awad. … Bishop Ford junior Devin Rocks won the JV race in 13:43.84.