Alex Tosi’s life has led him in many directions. Born in Moscow in 1997, Tosi spent his first 19 months in an orphanage. Adopted by Eric and Christina Tosi in 1999, he was brought back to their home in Billings, Montana. A year later, the family moved to Las Vegas and spent seven years there. When he was in fifth grade, the Tosi family relocated to Oyster Bay, where Alex has made his name as one of the top distance runners on Long Island.
Shortly after his graduation in June, Tosi will start running in a new direction, one that leads to West Point. The senior, who was named Newsday’s Nassau Cross Country Runner of the Year in the fall, committed to run cross country and track at the United States Military Academy on Feb. 29, ending a long, difficult college search process.
“It wasn’t one singular thing,” Tosi, who enjoys physics and biology, said of the decision to choose West Point. “I don’t think there was a better science school I got into. I don’t think anything compared to the things there are to do [at West Point]. The opportunities and the leadership skills you’ll learn while there are unparalleled by regular colleges.”
Tosi has a long family history of military service. His father, a priest in the Orthodox Church in America; two uncles, and an aunt served in the Army. Four of his cousins are still active in it. Despite this, attending West Point was never a foregone conclusion.
“I didn’t grow up saying ‘I want to be in the Army,’’’ said Tosi, who is also an Eagle Scout. “That wasn’t my goal. It was also never something I was against . . . I know what good it does, not only for the country, but for the individuals who were part of it. I see it as a way to give back to myself and my country and apply the leadership skills that I’ve been learning my whole life.”
This season, Tosi finished second in the Class C race at the state public school cross country championships at Monroe-Woodbury High School in November, completing the difficult 5-kilometer course in 16 minutes, 28.8 seconds. This winter, he topped fellow Nassau distance powerhouse Elias Platanias of Calhoun in the 3,200 meters at the state qualifier, running a 9:43.39. He garnered a top-20 finish (9:37.87) in the same event at the state championships three weeks ago.
This spring, Tosi said he will try his hand at the steeplechase, which he’s never run before. He also will attempt to qualify for the 3,200 meters at the state championships, scheduled for June 10-11 in Cicero.