Running proves to be a part of life for Conto

Julio Rodriguez

Conto found that he's confident in his ability to improve his next season with the cross country team. PHOTO BY JULIO RODRIGUEZ | The Hudsonian Student Newspaper

Conto found that he’s confident in his ability to improve his next season with the cross country team.

“I would run as a kid with my dad. I never did running professionally on a team. Then I tried it out when I was a sophomore in high school and I ended up being really good at it,” said freshman exercise science student Anton Conto.

Really good, indeed! Conto and the cross country team placed third at the Herkimer Invitational on Sept. 30. Conto himself finished in sixth place with a time of 24:25.

Conto began his running career with a sense of uncertainty. After encouragement from others, Conto started running cross country in high school. He was unsure at first, but was surprised to learn just how well he performed as a competitive runner.

“I’ve been good at running ever since I was in high school. Everyone used to tell me, ‘You should do cross country, you’re really good at running.’ I used to tell them, ‘No, I would not. I’m a terrible runner and I can barely run for a mile.’ I ended up being one of our top runners, so I continued with it at Hudson Valley,” said Conto.

His athletic interests include more than running, too, so in his free time he likes to try his hand at other sports.
“I ran in high school, but I’ve tried other sports. Not competitively, but during my free time. I’ve done crew, fencing, hockey and soccer for a year in middle school. Running was my favorite and hockey was a close second,” said Conto.

When he’s not running, Conto is a student worker for the Athletics department. As part of his work, he captures and uploads photos for Hudson Valley’s athletics website. “Being a student worker keeps me busy. I hate sitting around and doing nothing,” said Conto.

“Doing all of this stuff teaches me discipline. It teaches me not to slack off. I can’t run if I don’t have the grades, so it encourages me to keep my grades up,” continued Conto.

The team’s season has seen its ups and down. Conto is confident in the team and each runner’s abilities.

“We’re doing pretty well. We have a balance of runners. We have people who are fast, in-between, in the back. People [being] in the back is always going to happen. Overall, we’re pretty fast and we all have our talents. It’s our job to entertain those talents.”

Conto is certainly an asset to the team of seven students. However, he still finds that he has areas that need work for next year’s season.

“I think my performance has been a little less than what I would like. Probably because of a bunch of different factors. I’m not used to running a 5K for a race. It’s just something that I have to improve on, and I can’t wait to improve on that once the season ends.”

Conto would like to continue running wherever he continues studying in the future. “My plans for the future are to finish my degree at Hudson Valley, transfer to Cortland and become a physical therapist or a trainer.”

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