WESTFIELD, NJ — Matt Russo didn’t just follow in the footsteps of former Westfield and current Duke University cross-country star Matt Luppino—he sped through them at record pace. Just one month into the cross country season, Russo already had one record under his belt, and after adding another school record with a 15:57.2 time  at the NJCTC Bernie Magee Class Meet at Central Park at Greystone last week,  the Blue Devil senior doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

“When I see names like Matt Luppino … their work ethic is the first thing that comes to mind. Every day I just try and work as hard as they do and try to get results that will help my team,” said Russo.

Although the prospect of making more history, such as breaking 16 minutes at Holmdel Park, is alluring, Russo is fervent in the belief that the importance of individual success pales in comparison to that of the team.

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“Running is a sport where you get what you put in, so my teammates and I are doing our best every day to make it a great season. It’s going to be bittersweet at the end, but hopefully it will all be worth it,” he said. 

The road ahead for Russo seems quite clear: Russo hopes for the Blue Devils to win the county, sectional and eventually even the group IV state championship.

One thing is for sure: Whenever Russo is running, the record-keepers pay attention.