Nutley Male Athlete of the Month

Sean Bernardo NHS senior Cross-country team

“Sean has been a varsity runner for our program since his first day as a freshman. He is currently our No. 1 boy runner with a seasonal best of 17:37 at the Roxbury Invite. He has just gotten better each day due to his dedication and toughness. Very tough kid, practices hard every day. He never skips reps in workouts, never complains, always manages to have a big smile on his face even when doing mile repeats. He comes from a running family. His mom was on the NHS Girls State Championship teams from the 1990s. His mom and dad still run in road races and other types of races. His sister ran for Nutley for four years and his younger brother Jimmy (10th grade) is currently our No. 7 runner for this season.”
— Coach Gerry Ryan

What got you interested in cross-country running?
My interest in cross-country running was obtained from my family. My mom was a big runner ever since she was in high school and so was my sister. I had done the Nutley rec track program in seventh and eighth grade and my goal was always to beat my family’s best times and be the best out of all of them. This competitive nature continued into high school when I joined the team and I quickly began to realize my potential as a runner.

How do you prepare for a race?
When I have a race coming up, there’s a lot I do to keep myself prepared. The night before, I eat a lot of carbohydrates to keep me energized and I make sure I don’t do anything that could make me feel sore or sick in anyway. I rest and stay hydrated to make sure I won’t cramp up during my race. Then about an hour before the race goes off, I stretch and go for a quick run to loosen up and ensure I feel my best when race time comes.

What are your personal goals as a runner?
As a runner, I have a lot of personal goals. I’m always pushing myself to get better and run the fastest times I can. This year I hope to break 17 minutes in my 5k and advance to the group meet if possible.

What is your favorite course to run and why?
My favorite course to run on is Holmdel. It is the most challenging course we run on in my opinion and I love the atmosphere on race day. It has many uphills and it always makes me push myself to the limit in order to do well. Overall I really enjoying running on this course.

Do you have a favorite sports team or athlete?
My favorite sports team is the New York Yankees.

What else do you do for fun?
For fun I like to play other sports like basketball and football with my friends. I also like to travel and go hiking in the amazing scenery of the National Parks.

What kind of music do you listen to? Favorite musical artist?
I listen to any type of music from the 60s-80s time period. My favorite artist is Billy Joel.

If you had any super power, what would it be and why?
If I had any superpower it would be super speed. I would want super speed because I can get anywhere I want very quickly and racing would become a lot easier.