North Reading resident and freshman at Austin Prep Joe Luongo received an award for the Most Outstanding Performance by a boy in the Catholic Central League Championship Saturday, May 19.
Luongo won the award for the 400m dash with a time of 50.0 seconds, the fastest time for a freshman in New England, according to his mother Elena Torra Luongo.
"This performance also earned him the coaches award for Most Outstanding Performance for a male at the event. This time sets him as the number 1 seed going into the Division 4 state championship which will be held this Saturday at ," Luongo's mother said.
Luongo's main sport had always been soccer, Luongo's mother said. He has been playing soccer in North Reading for the last 10 years. He played on the Benfica USA team and currently plays for the U16 Black Hornets. Running track was just a way to keep in shape, the athlete's mom said, but track has become important to him throughout the last season.
"His success in this sport has become a new passion for him," she said.
Luongo was both surprised and thrilled about winning the award.
"It’s amazing; like a dream come true. I was so shocked. I mean I’m only a freshman in high school, in my first season of track in my entire life and I win this incredible award. There were so many other people there who probably deserved it more than I did. It’s incredible that the coaches voted and picked me. All I can say is thank you so much and it was an honor to receive it," he said.
The athlete also makes his school work and participation in community service a priority. He was recently awarded the Austin Preparatory Teachers Association Scholarship for showing academic excellence and investing time community service.