North Allegheny grad Luoco shines for Duquesne cross country
North Allegheny graduate and Duquesne men’s cross country senior Cordon Luoco is off to an impressive start this season.
Luoco (25 minutes, 34.53 seconds) came in first in the 8K run in the Duquesne Duals meet in Pittsburgh’s Schenley Park. He led the Dukes to first place among four teams.
Carnegie Mellon, Pitt and Youngstown State competed.
He was named the Atlantic 10’s Men’s Cross Country Performer of the Week based on results from Aug. 31-Sept. 2.
He followed that with second place (25:17.80) in the Buffalo Stampede Invitational in New York on Sept. 15.
Duquesne coach Jim Lear believes Luoco has a good chance of qualifying for the NCAA championship in November at Wisconsin if he stays healthy.
“Cordon had a great summer of training,” Lear said. “His mileage has increased slowly and consistently since June.
“He looked very strong over the last two miles in the Duquesne Duals, and that’s the toughest part of the course.”
Luoco, who began his college career at Pitt in 2014, has wanted to qualify for NCAAs since he was a freshman.
“I am working hard to have the best opportunity to complete my goal,” he said.
Luoco, a business student, hopes to lead the Dukes to the A-10 title. They were predicted to finish third in a preseason poll.
His goal leading up to the conference championship on Oct. 27 at Richmond is to win every race.
“I want to leave my team with a lasting impact, displaying how hard work will definitely lead to an easier end of the journey,” he said.
Luoco, who helped North Allegheny to second place in the PIAA in 2013 and three WPIAL crowns, was one of four WPIAL products in the top five for the Dukes at Duquesne Duals.
Sophomore Casey Conboy (Baldwin), senior Hunter Wharrey (North Allegheny) and freshman Sam Snodgrass (South Fayette) finished sixth to eighth overall.
Lear said sophomore Mark Provenzo (Franklin Regional) was the sixth man and spent most of last season in the top five.
“I’ve coached for a long time,” Lear said. “I’m very familiar with most of the programs in the WPIAL and know many of the coaches personally, which surely helps (in recruiting).”
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.