Prep's Luongo hopes to run at Harvard

St. John's Prep middle distance runner Joe Luongo had one of the fastest 600 times in America last winter and will be running at Harvard in college . DAVID LE/Staff photo

St. John's Prep senior track star Joe Luongo wants to go to Harvard, and it is apparent the Crimson want to land the talented runner from Danvers. Luongo received a "likely letter" and will be officially notified of his admission later this month.

"Two weeks ago I got the letter," said Luongo, who will run the 600, 300 and relays for the Eagles. "For as long as I can remember Harvard has always been my first choice. I applied restrictive early action which means you can't apply early anywhere else. The coaches have been in contact with me for a while now. It's not official yet, but I haven't heard of anybody getting a likely letter and not getting in. It's pretty much a gentleman's agreement."

Luongo has a lot of offer. In addition to his talent on the track he carries a 4.2 GPA and plans to major in biology or chemistry with the idea of pursuing a career in medicine.

"I talked to Dartmouth, Brown, Duke, and the University of North Carolina," said Luongo. "I had to figure out where I would go if it didn't work out with Harvard. I had a potential scholarship offer from Duke, but I am very happy it worked out with Harvard."

Last year Luongo ran the second fastest 600 meter race in the country and also recorded the second best time ever in Massachusetts. His personal best was 1:20.05. He won the Division 1 Meet, was first at All-States, and unbeatable at the New England's.

"He can run anywhere from the 300 to the 800," said Prep coach Ray Carey. "Joe is also a big part of our relay team. He and Michael Mejias went to nationals for the relay last year. He's a very good student and a great kid. Schools like Harvard send out those likely letters because they don't want to risk seeing somebody they want get offers from other schools."

Luongo has been working hard to get in shape for the upcoming season and has set some big goals for himself.

"Through the fall I've been done at the track with a group of sprinters," he said. "I do minimal distance work because I'm more of a sprinter, but I will run the 800 outdoors. My biggest goal is to defend my state and New England championships. I'd also like to get the state record in the 600. I'm close, less than a tenth of a second away so I think it's obtainable. The 600 is my favorite event, and also I think it's my best."

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