Hard work, dedication propel cross country’s Tony Migliozzi

Senior cross-country runner Tony Migliozzi isn’t your average non-Division I athlete who coasts through his college career. He is someone who uses a self-taught work ethic and dedication to capture his dreams.

Senior Tony Migliozzi runs with the lead pack at the Gettysburg Invitational on Oct. 15. His first-place finish among 347 runners was the start of his three race, three individual wins streak. (Photo courtesy of Andy Smith)

“I run over 100 miles per week,” Migliozzi said. “I’m averaging about 100 miles per week for the whole year.”

It takes more than your average Joe of a runner to run 50 miles per week, but Migliozzi believes there’s a reason behind how he manages to double that daunting number: persistency.

“Persistent as a person and a runner … I think that is why I am a successful runner,” Migliozzi said. “I never seem to give up.”

Migliozzi has managed to win individual honors in the men’s race in three of his last three meets. These meets have included the Gettysburg Invitational, Ohio Independent Championships and the NCCAA National Championships.

In high school, Migliozzi played football and ran track.

“I originally was always a sprinter, but my high school coach at the time, Matt Reneker, who is an assistant coach here now, helped me have a lot of success in the mile,” Migliozzi said. “So I quit football and started running cross country my sophomore year.”

[pullquote]I like to lead by example, not words,” Migliozzi said.[/pullquote]

Junior cross runner Jared Williams is a close teammate to Migliozzi.

“He is a very good friend, reliable and nice,” Williams said.

Williams and other teammates agree that Migliozzi deserves the success he’s came across this season.

“His best attribute as a runner is his dedication,” Williams said. “He worked very hard in the offseason to achieve greatness.”

Migliozzi feels like he is an automatic leader of the team, being older than most of his younger teammates. He tries to act as a role model to the younger members of the team to mature them for their NCAA Division II days ahead.

Migliozzi sprints toward the finish at the Akron Invitational in Firestone Metro Parks, the team's first meet of the year, earlier this fall. Migliozzi didn't start running cross-country or heavy miles until his sophomore year of high school. (Photo courtesy of Andy Smith)

When it comes to the competitive edge, he leaves everything out on the course, letting the results speak for themselves.

“I like to lead by example, not words,” Migliozzi said.

Before each one of his races Migliozzi goes through a routine of superstition. His eating patterns, amount of time he takes to warm up and clothes he wears are always exactly the same to ensure similar “winning” results.

The high success Migliozzi has earned this season leaves him with a bit of a sour taste in his mouth. Sure, the success is humbling, but the transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II has left Migliozzi and the other Pioneer seniors without a chance to compete at the national level or achieve All-American accolades.

“It is bittersweet because we did not get to compete at the NAIA Nationals like I have the past few years,” Migliozzi said. “It was great winning the last three meets of the season as a team, and individually, but I would’ve liked to have the opportunity to be an All-American again.”

Matt Anderson is a staff writer for Aviso AVW.

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