Junior Phil Longo might characterize his recent performances for the indoor track team as subpar, but no one else is questioning his athletic ability or leadership skills. Being a serious threat in nearly any jump competition, Longo’s fifth-place high jump of 1.78 meters at the Golden Eagle Run Invitational, hosted by SUNY Brockport on Saturday Feb. 8, might not have been what he was hoping for. Even so, his mark beat most of a field of 29 on a competitive day all around the track.
While none of Geneseo athletes took home top honors, a number finished in second place. On the women’s side, freshmen Alexa Wandy and Joanna Heath took second in the 400-meter run and the long jump, respectively.
For the men, junior Benjamin Schwartz was runner-up in the 800-meter run, while sophomore Aidan Fullerton was second in the long jump, ahead of third-place freshman David Pollock and Longo, who finished eighth in a field of 45 athletes.
Despite his better high jump finish, Longo said that, with his relatively short stature for the event, it might be better to concentrate on the long jump.
“I realized that I’ve kind of plateaued in the high jump … It’s really not realistic that I’m going to be getting any higher,” Longo said. “In long jump, there’s definitely more areas I can improve on.”
Head coach Dave Prevosti said he believes that Longo can succeed in his events.
“He is a guy who could easily make it on the podium in multiple events at SUNYACs and beyond,” Prevosti said, in an email interview. “He is so hard working and he is a student of the sport. I always say, ‘Train hard but train smart,’ but I never have to say that to [Longo]. He just does it all the time.”
Prevosti added that Longo, a team captain whose job it is to help build the different areas of the team into one cohesive unit, “is Geneseo.”
“[Longo] embodies its co-curricular liberal arts nature and takes it to a place that I have not seen another take it. In addition to being a top student and athlete, he is [a residence assistant] and a member of a number of clubs and a cappella groups on campus,” Prevosti said. “He never gives less than his all and infects others around him with the same attitude.”
Longo’s season goals have the potential to be realized in March, when the Knights compete at SUNYACs.
“I’d really like a SUNYAC title. I’d like to win it individually and then … as a team too,” Longo said. Additionally, if he can add about 40 centimeters to his long jump, Longo said he thinks he has a “good shot” to compete at nationals.
The Knights compete next on Saturday Feb. 15 at Ithaca College’s Bomber Invitational.