Homestead track star Genovesi making name for himself at Akron
Sets school record in 800-meter specialty
Running with the same grit and determination that made him Wisconsin's state prep track athlete of the year in 2010, Homestead graduate and now University of Akron junior Gabe Genovesi, is still blazing a trail in the 800-meter event.
"No, I'm not surprised at all at what he's doing," said Todd Brawner, Genovesi's event coach at Homestead. "The key for him, as it was here, is that they're always working on his speed. He's also running in the 200 and 400 and he ran something like a 48.32 (second time) in the 400. Some run off of speed and strength, some run off of distance (training). He does a bit of both and, frankly, he's just a guy who responds to pressure."
Genovesi, who was the Mid-American Conference Indoor Male Track performer of the meet in 2012, earned MAC athlete of the week honors twice in successive weeks in the 2013 indoor season, as he broke the coveted 1:50 barrier in the 800 and broke a school record in the process.
He turned in a 1:49.63 at the Penn State National meet and then turned around and won the event for the second time at the MAC Indoor meet in 1:51.21.
At the recently held NCAA Indoor Nationals, Genovesi held his own in his specialty, taking 12th in the preliminaries in 1:49.74, just narrowly missing out on the finals.
In 2012, Genovesi won three events at the MAC Conference Indoor (including his first title in the 800), and earned MAC Performer of the Meet honors.
Genovesi came out of Homestead a star track and soccer performer. He set a state record in the 800 and anchored the winning 1,600 and 3,200-meter relay teams as the Highlanders won the 2010 WIAA state team track title.
He started out playing both sports when he got to Akron. He was on the soccer roster when the Zips won the NCAA Division I national title in his freshman year in the fall of 2010 but Genovesi has since decided to devote himself to track.
"He gave soccer a try," Homestead track coach Dan Benson said, "but then he sat back and made a good decision (for track)."
Two of Genovesi's state place-winning teammates are enjoying some track success at the University of Minnesota. Redshirt sophomore economics major Justin Barber recently won the hammer title in the Stanford Invitational and then claimed the discus crown in the Hamline Invitational.
Barber was second in the discus and third in the shot put at the WIAA state meet in 2010. Meanwhile, redshirt Minnesota sophomore high jumper and engineering major Danny Schiller has had a season best of 6-10 3/4 in his specialty. He placed three times at state in the high jump during his high school career.
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