Athlete of the week: Carmel High School runner treasures experience in national race


For Carmel High School senior Tony Provenzano, competing in the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships National Finals was a memorable experience. 

“It was so special,” he said. “Just being there was an honor. Competing there was amazing. You know everyone works so hard to get there. When you are there, I just want to run to the best of my ability.”

Provenzano finished 14th in 15 minutes, 37.5 seconds Dec. 9 in the 5,000-kilometer race in San Diego.

“It was actually my slowest time of the season,” said Provenzano, whose best time is 15 minutes, which he posted in the Flashrock Invitational Sept. 16 at Northview Church course in Carmel. “It was a very hard course. There is a very steep uphill run about 1 mile in the race and we run up that hill twice.”

Provenzano, who has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in cross country and track and field at Indiana University, qualified Nov. 25 with a fifth-place finish in 15:07.6 at the Midwest Regional in Kenosha, Wis.

Provenzano, who moved from Hopkins, Minn., before his junior season, finished second in the IHSAA state cross country finals as a junior and was fourth during the Oct. 28 state finals. The Greyhounds won the state team championship both years.

“Tony was instantly one of the best distance runners in the state after moving from Minnesota, and he improved tremendously these last two years,” CHS cross country coach Colin Altevogt said. “The best athletes also make their teammates better, and Tony definitely did that, even in such an individual sport as running.”

Provenzano said Indiana has way more competition than Minnesota.

“There are a ton of good runners, and it just makes it all worthwhile,” Provenzano said.

Provenzano finished 11th in the Minnesota state high school meet.

“I feel like trusting what my coach Altevogt is saying is important,” he said. “Staying consistent and challenging yourself makes yourself better.”

Provenzano said the team had a close bond.

“I feel like we all have that goal to win the state meet,” he said. “When you and your teammates have the same approach mentally, you grow together and form a bond. It is very hard to beat a team that is like that and so disciplined.”

Provenzano said the runners can build on that for track season.

Provenzano finished second in the 3,200 meters last spring in the IHSAA state track and field finals. 

Provenzano will use his final high school season to get ready for IU.

“The coaches are amazing,” he said of his IU commitment. “I feel they love the sport like I do. The guys on the team are great. I just kind of knew I was going to go there the first time I went there.”

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