Hammonton High School's Louis Corgliano looks forward to the challenges of a collegiate track and field team.

The 18-year-old senior verbally committed to the University of Maryland on a full athletic scholarship earlier this month.

"It's going to be awesome," Corgliano said in a phone interview on Tuesday. "I'm lucky enough to be given the opportunity to play at a Division I level."

The Hammonton resident was also considering Syracuse, Clemson, Saint Joseph's and Seton Hall, but already felt at home with the Terrapins.

"The coaches and team made me feel like I was already a part of the team, so they made me feel like they really wanted me," he said.

Corgliano has had success in high school with cross country and track and field, but he had a breakout cross country season last fall. He won the Cape-Atlantic League championship and his second straight Atlantic County championship. But his most distinguished accomplishment came in the Meet of Champions, where he ran the 3.1-mile course in 15 minutes, 35 seconds, which is the fastest ever by a CAL boy at Holmdel.

He is a two-time Press Cross Country Runner of the Year and was also named The Press Fall Athlete of the Season for his accomplishments.

Maryland's track coach Andrew Valmon is going into his 11th season after his 1992 gold medal win as part of the 4x400 meter relay at the Barcelona Olympics.

Two-year assistant coach Matthew Jelly focuses on distance events and will work closely with Corgliano as he transitions to longer distances at the collegiate level.

Corgliano expects his skills to be more challenged by Maryland's move to the Big Ten Conference this year after nearly six decades with the Atlantic Coast Conference.

"I think being in the Big Ten will give me better competition than ACC could offer, so I'm going to see how far I can go in this sport," he said.

He intends to incorporate his love of sports into his career by studying communications at Maryland and becoming a sports broadcaster.

"The communications program is great and the campus is unbelievable," he said.

Although Corgliano is excited to graduate and join the Terrapins, the distance runner is still determined to make his senior year with the Blue Devils count.

"He has a lot of goals set this year. He wants to leave a lot of great times for his senior year," said Jeff Dey, Hammonton's distance track and field coach.

"Lou is extremely dedicated to the sport and to become a better runner. He wants to show what he has learned the past few years."

Contact Kate Drake:

609-272-7210