By Anthony Richards
Nico Fasanelli was named Ponte Vedra High School’s College Athlete of the Month for September.
Not only was he proud to have been chosen for this honor, but he also took comfort in the fact that he was the first recipient of the award that athletic director Michael Harrison plans to be a monthly event, as well as honors. weekly throughout the school year.
The junior ranks at the top of his class academically and is a member of the Sharks’ cross country and track teams.
He happened to be around several of his teammates in the locker room when he first learned he had been picked.
“Me and some of the cross country guys were in the locker room, when someone walked in and said we all had to come see the athletic director,” Fasanelli said.
According to Fasanelli, he wasn’t sure what was going on at first, but once he started talking with Harrison it all became very clear.
“It was cool because it’s the first one and they picked me,” said Fasanelli.
He started long distance track in his first year, then did cross country as well as a second year.
Being involved in sport is a rule his parents have, and it has been in place for each of his four older siblings.
According to Fasanelli, the rule is there to encourage the practice of a sport whether it is linked to school or as part of a club organization.
“It’s mainly for exercise reasons,” Fasanelli said.
He has played soccer for the past two years but has decided to focus on cross country and track and field for this year.
As his sisters ran the shorter athletic disciplines, he found his niche was the longer distances.
The main difference between cross country and even longer track races is the time it takes to complete them.
“Let’s say you do the mile (run), well a track race is about five minutes, while cross country is about 18 minutes, which is a really long time,” Fasanelli said.
Continuing to perform at high levels both in the classroom and on the course can be a juggling act at times, but Fasanelli has learned to make it work with proper organization and planning.
“I usually have to do my homework throughout the day,” said Fasanelli. “Time management is an important thing. I have usually already packed all my things the day before with my lunch and my clothes. Sometimes I’ll even go ahead and put my bags already in the car the day before.
Cross country takes place in the fall with the morning workouts, while the track season is in the spring with the afternoon workouts.
He gets up around 5:50 a.m. to be ready for 6:30 a.m. cross-country training.
Fasanelli enjoys math, as well as chemistry and physics, and even takes a college math class two days a week in high school.
He is also increasingly interested in aspects of IT.
On top of all this, Fasanelli is also a member of the PVHS Hi-Q Club team, which is an academic competition.